Flash mob thefts up on Mag Mile

May 19, 2011 2:04:33 PM PDT
Police are monitoring social networking sites and boosting their presence on Michigan Avenue following a spike in juvenile shoplifting.

Police say shoplifter flash mobs are becoming more commonplace on the Magnificent Mile. Three were reported in one day back in January. They involve large groups of teenagers who coordinate a shoplifting raid via social networking and text messages and then run off with the merchandise.

Police say juvenile shoplifting arrests in Chicago are up 10 percent this year. Retail theft in general is actually down 2 percent.