Flash mob shoplifting rising across the country

Aug 21, 2023, 7:00 PM | Updated: 8:12 pm

flash mob shoplifting...

A new trend of flash mob shoplifting is on the rise across the country. (Canva)


SALT LAKE CITY — A new trend of flash mob shoplifting is on the rise across the country. Notably, a Los Angeles Nordstrom was recently stormed by 30 individuals who stole a combined $300,00 worth of merchandise.

While this is becoming more common in cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and New York City, it is not exclusive to them. It has happened in Utah, with an Apple Store in Farmington being robbed in November.

County attorney for Davis County Troy Rawlings told Dave and Dujanovic that flash mob shoplifting is a coordinated effort.

“It’s a brazen calculation on their part that goes far beyond traditional retail theft. This is organized crime,” he said. “This is the type that if we could apprehend and catch them … (they) could actually be prosecuted under potentially racketeering depending upon the situation.”

This organization can be seen in the case of the Apple Store in Farmington.

“Unfortunately, at the Apple store, no one’s been apprehended yet,” Rawlings said. “They’re very organized. They’re very concealed. They took steps to make sure that they didn’t leave any traces of detection in the way that they covered themselves.”

Rawlings said perpetrators committing these crimes are “making a calculation on a couple of levels.”

“Calculation number one is that they’re gonna be able to get away with it,” he said. “The calculation number two is if they get caught, depending upon the jurisdiction, that the prosecution won’t be significant enough that it’s worth the cost of business to do it.”

What can retailers do about flash mob shoplifting?

However, according to Rawlings, retailers are not defenseless.

“In Utah, we have an interesting code section that actually allows retailers to detain suspects on the premises for a sufficient period of time for … law enforcement to arrive,” he said.

He said the code protects retailers by defending them from any potential wrongful detention lawsuits. The code protects them as long as they have probable cause for detaining a suspect.

“There’s an interesting tool in Utah where retailers could help law enforcement by detaining these people themselves until they arrive. Should they choose to … do that,” Rawlings said.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

Keep reading: Apple Store in Farmington robbed Friday morning

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Crime, Police + Courts

President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden arrives for a court appearance, in Wilmington, Del, Tuesday,...


Hunter Biden pleads not guilty to three federal gun charges filed after his plea deal collapsed

Hunter Biden faces charges that he lied about his drug use in October 2018 on a form to buy a gun that he kept for about 11 days

2 hours ago

Shonie Christensen, domestic violence advocate and survivor, speaks during a press event for Domest...

Kaigan Mears Bigler,

Utah’s battle against domestic violence: How officials and advocates are making a difference

Statistics show that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in Utah will experience domestic violence, which is higher than the national average.

3 hours ago

Tim Ballard, founder and former CEO of Operation Underground Railroad, speaks at an O.U.R. event. T...

Lindsay Aerts

Attorney representing Tim Ballard accusers preparing a lawsuit

The attorney representing several women accusing Tim Ballard of sexual misconduct says she's preparing a lawsuit on their behalf.

15 hours ago

NEW YORK (AP) — The owner of a New York City day care center and a tenant living in the building ...

Mark Jones

Grantsville High School went into lockdown Monday, situation secured

A heavy police presence was reported early Monday evening at Grantsville High School. Few details were provided about the situation.

17 hours ago

tim ballard...

Lindsay Aerts

Wife of Tim Ballard responds to questions of husband’s church standing

Tim Ballard asserted two weeks ago he was a faithful member in good standing with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

18 hours ago

Ogden man arrested after attempting citizen's arrest....

Peter Johnston

Man arrested for putting teen in chokehold while attempting “citizen’s arrest”

A 57-year-old man in Ogden has been arrested after putting boy in chokehold during citizen's arrest attempt.

22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

Flash mob shoplifting rising across the country