Flash Mob Robbery of Barracks Row 7-11 Last Week

The 7-11 in the 400 block of  on Barracks Row was the scene of a flash robbery last  Thursday.

The 7-11 in the 400 block of on Barracks Row was the scene of a flash robbery last Thursday.

Flash Mob Robbery of Barracks Row 7-11 Last Week

by Larry Janezich

According to an eye witness, last Thursday, September 3, at about 3:30pm, 10 to 15 youths in their teens wearing khaki pants and white shirts converged on and entered the Barrack Row 7-11 en masse.  Some wore insignia – tags – on their shirts depicting an “E” with a wreath around it, possibly indicating an affiliation with Eastern High School.  The group was jovial and laughing and began filling their bags and pockets with candy bars and bags of chips.  While clerks and others in the store stood stunned by the shameless behavior, and perhaps cautious because of the number of youths, the group strode casually out, chatting and laughing, “with impunity,” as an observer put it.

A clerk behind the counter called 9ll, but response was slow, and the eye witness furnishing this account left the store before police arrived.

Reportedly, the attitude of the 7-11 employees was a shrugged shoulders resignation.  “It happens,” one employee was reported to have said, his attitude saying the unstated:  it’s the cost of doing business here.

From Wikipedia:

The term “flash rob” or “flash mob robberies”, a reference to the way flash mobs assemble, has been used to describe a number of robberies and assaults perpetrated suddenly by groups of teenage youth.  Bill Wasik, originator of the first flash mobs, and a number of other commentators have questioned or objected to the usage of “flash mob” to describe criminal acts, however, in a number of reported cases, flash mobs have turned violent or led to criminal activity.


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22 responses to “Flash Mob Robbery of Barracks Row 7-11 Last Week

  1. Andrew Z

    All power to the people. Businesses on 8th St. have been robbing our neighborhood of affordable restaurants, stores, entertainment for decades. There has been little or no response to this problem by our elected officials, and flashmobbing may be the only option to save democracy in our neighborhood from the despotism of wealth.

    As Bertold Brecht wrote: “What is the crime of robbing a bank compared to the crime of founding one?”

    • Wow. I had no idea minority-run 7-11s were robbing the neighborhood. Good to know!

    • culturalxpatriot

      Affordable: more like nasty.

    • Rick

      Andrew Z: if your so opposed to the “despotism of wealth,” would you kindly provide us with your bank account and routing numbers so we can share yours? Perhaps include all your credit card numbers, expiry dates, and 3 digit codes?

      • Andrew Z

        And if you like gentrification so much will you please let rich people expel you from your home, treat you like an alien invader in your own neighborhood, and then tell the world they’re doing you a favor out of the kindness of their hearts. (Of course I wouldn’t wish that on anybody, just responding in kind…)

    • yoshi99

      Yeah, it was so much better when the street was nothing but a bunch of boarded up windows. A veritable garden spot. Those businesses you malign rescued a decaying neighborhood, and they should be supported, not robbed. … And somehow I doubt the thieves in this case are actual participants in the democratic process, as you seem to suggest.

  2. Rashid Johnson

    Yeah, I’m with Andrew! Let the Eastern HS kids steal! It’s the least we can do.

  3. jbk

    ” Some wore insignia – tags – on their shirts depicting an “E” with a wreath around it, … ” Do the police know anything about the insignia? What did the cameras in the 7/11 have to offer about this incident? Is there a police report on this robbery?

  4. NoSpam

    Maybe if you’re lucky you can get those thieving locally owned business to close and that area can look as nice as Detroit!

    Part of breaking the cycle of poverty lay with adults telling our youth to behave, not advocating for a mob mentality. Hold ourselves and our children responsible – don’t evade it. Vote smartly to get the right politicians in place. Make sure kids do their homework… before robbing the stores owned by their neighbors.

    Time to go. I don’t want my taxes going to a city that holds criminal and illicit behavior in such high regard.

    What a shame.

  5. Keith

    Just as its important to teach our youth to run from police on their ATVs and motorbikes, its also good to teach them its ok to rob a 7-11 when they’re hungry or need some cash. In the years to come they will return, no doubt, just more heavily armed and demanding cash.

    • anon

      what exactly is the difference between strong arming $50-100 worth of food versus taking it in cash from the register? A conspiracy of acting in numbers is an intimidation tactic, just as the threat of force from robbery by other means.

  6. JR

    Given that 7-11 and other businesses on the Row that have been robbed over the last two years have received essentially little to no help in deterring crime from MPD, I am not surprised the employees just gave up. I have lived on the Row for 9 years now and I am disgusted to see how MPD’s presence has decreased as well as what a non-existent voice Barracks Row Main Street Association has become (anyone who donates to BRMS Association is wasting their money at this point). There is no advocacy from BRMS, no advocacy from the ANC6b, and no advocacy from Councilman Allen regarding the worsening conditions on the Row. The businesses that have come in have been great, I just hope they stay and others move in…because seeing this dirty sidewalks littered with trash daily and the huge onslaught of both vagrants and drug addicts who constantly panhandle on the Row, and the increasing violent crimes and robberies that have been happening on the Row – these things would not encourage me to open or maintain a business on 8th street.

    • Not only do the businesses support BRMA, they indirectly support the “Clean and Safe” BID – Business Improvement District – which covers the main corridors of the Hill and is paid for by the property owners who pass the cost along to the businesses. And they pay a mint for it. Would love to see Larry do a story on both of these groups – what they consider their responsibilities and how the money collected is spent – follow that money! Nice flowers folks.

      • JR

        Stephanie – agreed! And while we are at it, Larry, please also do a story on the lack of pride and respect for thy neighbor when it comes to the lack of shoveling of snow on the Row after winter snow storms and how BRMS has done nothing to help and/or encourage both building owners and business owners to quickly and properly clean sidewalks!!

  7. RS

    “It happens…” Sadly, that’s a historical truth for corner stores. But this is the 7-11 where the employees also did nothing to stop a customer from being beaten to death by a group of youths a few years ago. I haven’t shopped there since, and can’t feel much sympathy for a little shoplifting.

  8. samapoc

    This happens all the time on the Hill. I’ve watched kids walk through CVS and just knock stuff off the shelves, right in front of employees. It’s a thing. They of course always do it in gangs or groups of 4+. But employees aren’t really interested in touching the kids. It’s incredibly disrespectful. Barracks Row is always kind of sketchy because of drug dealings going on in the open nearby, and the concentration of public housing is not healthy and encourages gang behavior.

    • anon

      there is no “gang” issue on BR. Not even “crews.” That’s a ridiculous statement. There is vagrancy, loitering, low level drug use/maintenance, opportunist street criminals, and clients of nearby at-risk social services/mental health providers. The nearby public housing, much of it serving seniors and stable families, is not the main culprit.

  9. Andrew Z

    Just checking in that the spirit of gentrification/settler colonialism is alive and well on capitol hill. Thanks to most of you for confirming it and a few of you for resisting!