Young women seen grabbing items in a DC convenience store
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -- It has happened again! A mob of people has entered a local convenience store, stolen items and then fled. But in this "flash mob," there's a twist. The thieves were all young women.
Ten women in fact and all caught on tape. Store surveillance video shows the women casually walking into the Northeast Washington convenience store and shopping. Some are carrying plastic bags. Others cover their faces, as if they know they're being caught on camera.
"Girls?! Are you sure? That's unbelievable. I'm speechless. I have nothing else to say because I can't believe it's ten girls, going around robbing people," said Tonja Hanna, the mother of two teenage daughters.
The female thieves grab candy, chips, sodas and ice cream---roughly five items each. At one point, they even load up a shopping bag, before running out in a pack. The lone store clerk called police.
"Flash mob, that's crazy," said one man in the parking lot.
"Wow, that's crazy. I mean, it's really terrible," said another.
Crazy. And increasingly common. This heist comes just days after a similar incident in Germantown, also orchestrated at a convenience store. In that case, 30 teenagers grabbed what they wanted before hustling out of the store.
"In the state of the economy, somebody's hungry, who's to say what's right and what's wrong?" said a woman who declined to give her name.
Some people with whom we spoke practically condoned the thieves' actions, saying this was a sign of tough economic times.
"They didn't go in there to get no money. So they must have been going in there to get something to eat," said a young man.
Added a woman, "Americans are starving. They're out of work, they're losing their homes. So if teenagers need to flash to get food?"
Police investigators told the store clerk on duty that they know who these young ladies are, and they will take action.
Mayor Vincent Gray issued the following statement Friday morning:
"We know that we have video of a group of girls shoplifting from a store in Northeast in the early hours of Thursday morning," Mayor Gray said. "Our detectives are currently investigating that incident. 'Flash mob' or not, we will pursue criminal charges against those involved. We will not tolerate such reprehensible behavior here."
The Mayor continued: "Some news coverage of this incident has reported residents questioning whether the robbery could have been morally justified. Actually, both morality and the law are quite clear: It is wrong to steal from others. And if people do not obey the law, they will be apprehended, arrested and prosecuted. There is no excuse for this sort of incident."
Written by Andrea McCarren
9NEWS NOW & WUSA9.COM
UPDATE: The images of the young women committing the crime has many sounding off on whether it was right or wrong. There is no doubt that the actions are illegal, but some people believe they are condonable. 9News took to D.C streets, and got varied responses from people who offered their opinion on the "Flash-Rob"
Take a look above.