Flashmob Flash-Robs Lingerie Store in Washington, D.C.
Another victory for Google+ in its battle against Facebook and Twitter: to date, Google+ has not been used to coordinate a snatch-and-grab robbery of a retail store.
Yesterday, a Victoria's Secret in the Georgetown area of Washington, D.C. was robbed by a group of brazen thieves who coordinated their midday panty raid via Facebook and Twitter. Immediately, comparisons have been drawn between this robbery and the practice of flashmobbing and has lead many in the portmanteau-obsessed media to dub it an act of "flashrobbing".
A flashmob, for those unfamiliar, is a group of individuals who coordinate through a website (often, a Facebook page) and agree to appear at a certain location at a precise time to engage in random acts of nonsensical expression or satire such as pillow fights, dance numbers, and spontaneous rounds of applause. They rarely assemble for a pointed purpose and have thus far avoided the temptation to arrange spontaneous protests, demonstrations or advertising campaigns. A flashrob...mob... organizes in much the same way, but is far less whimsical in its activities.
Initial reports of Monday's robbery suggested that "a group" rushed in to Victoria's Secret and robbed it before quickly exiting, creating an impression of a large number of perpetrators. Later reports place the number at four: two men, and two women. Certainly, this confusion highlights the efficacy of flashrobbing which relies on surprise and confusion to catch the retail employees unawares.
Unfortunately for aspiring flashrobbers, the Washington, D.C. police have noticed that this robbery is but one in an apparent trend and they are increasing their presence to prevent further imitations robberies.
Before the incidents in Washington, D.C. it was not uncommon for a retail store to employ private unarmed security guards. Should flashrobbing continue to spread and receive media attention such guards will likely become a commonplace feature in more stores before flashrobbers realize the handful of purloined panties is not worth 3-5 years in prison.