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Police: Shoplifting flash mobs storm convenience stores


Police in Washington state are looking for a group of about 40 teens who allegedly stormed a Shell service station in Federal Way early last Sunday, KIRO-TV in Seattle reported.

"It's pretty bad. ... When 30, 40 people come into the store, I don’t think even cops can do anything right away," said Ranji Rai, who owns the store. He said his clerk was alone at the time and couldn't do anything to stop the crowd.

The clerk, Sukhvinder Singh, said that at first, he tried to stop the teens at the door, but they pushed through. Then Singh tried to grab one of the teens' jackets, but another person threw a soda at him and just missed, Singh said.

>> VIDEO: Shoplifting flash mobs storm convenience stores, police say

According to Federal Way police, another group targeted a 7-Eleven about a mile away, only an hour and a half after the incident at the Shell station. KIRO-TV included portions of the surveillance videos in their newscast.

In that case, the store owner said a group of about 15 teens stole bottles of wine and beer.

We showed Rai surveillance video from the second swarm of alleged shoplifters at the 7-Eleven.

He said he believes they were the same people who visited his store.

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Rai also said a mob of teens targeted his store a few weeks ago. He said he saw them getting away on a Metro bus.

He asked KIRO-TV to share the surveillance video.

"I want somebody to see them, their parents, or friends or cops so those people are going to get caught," Rai said.

Nobody appeared to have weapons in either incident.



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