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Video Shows 100 Looters Attacking a 7-Eleven in Los Angeles

The looters were caught on camera.

The recent crimewave in Los Angeles appears to be continuing unabated, with a "flash mob" of approximately 100 looters caught on camera attacking a 7-Eleven near Figueroa Street and El Segundo Boulevard. The suspects reportedly threw items at employees and left with whatever they could carry, including cigarettes, lottery tickets, and snacks, and are still at large, according to police. Here's what happened. 

Street Takeover

"Flash Mob" of Looters in LA store.

The incident happened just after midnight on Monday, August 15 in the Harbor Gateway section of Los Angeles. The looters were caught on camera, and many of them didn't even bother hiding their faces.

The looting happened during a street takeover, where drivers locked an intersection so they could do "donuts," according to authorities. "On August 15, 2022, around 12:40 a.m., a street takeover initiated at the intersection of Figueroa Street and El Segundo Boulevard," the LAPD said in a statement. "Motorists flooded the intersection and blocked traffic with their vehicles from all directions to create a 'pit' in the middle of the intersection. During the incident, spectators exited their vehicles and watched as motorists recklessly drove in a maneuver known as 'doing donuts.' The maneuver involves purposely losing tire traction while driving in a circular motion and continuing to accelerate. This results in a series of skid marks left on the pavement."

A Crime Of Opportunity?

"Flash Mob" of Looters in LA store.

"The spectators then formed a 'flash mob' of looters and rushed a nearby 7-Eleven located at the northwest corner of Figueroa Street and El Segundo Boulevard," the LAPD statement continued. "Video surveillance from the store showed the looters fanning out across the store and grabbing all the snacks, drinks, cigarettes, lotto tickets, and other merchandise. Looters also vandalized the store and threw merchandise at employees. The looters then exited the store to the surrounding parking lots and streets, and quickly dispersed before police arrived. The term 'flash mob' was first used to describe a large public gathering at which people perform an unusual or seemingly random act and then disperse, typically organized by means of the internet or social media. In the latest cases, however, 'flash mobs' have turned from fun spontaneous events to opportunistic criminal occurrences."

Los Angeles Crime Wave

"Flash Mob" of Looters in LA store.

This recent incident in the 7-Eleven is just the latest in a wave of looting and robberies in Los Angeles, with many crimes happening in broad daylight. According to LAPD data, violent crimes are up 60%. "Over the course of this year, the Department has experienced an increase in robberies taking place in various communities in the City of Los Angeles," the LAPD said in a press release. "Most concerning is that there has been an increase in the levels of violence used during these robberies and the frequency in which a firearm was used. During the Board of Police Commission meeting on March 22, 2022, Chief Moore discussed citywide robbery statistics, crime prevention techniques, situational awareness, and mitigation."

Number of Prisoners Goes Down, Crime Goes Up

"Flash Mob" of Looters in LA store.

One of the reasons for the looting wave could be Californian Law. Under Proposition 47 (a referendum passed by California voters in 2014), shoplifting less than $950 is considered a misdemeanor (it used to be $400).

"In 2011, our prisons were bursting at the seams, and California was ranked either first or second behind Texas as having the highest per capita incarceration rate of any state in the country," says Charis Kubrin, professor of criminology, law and society at the University of California, Irvine. "It was so bad that the Supreme Court stepped in and told us we needed to reduce our prison population by 33,000 individuals. So the goal of Prop 47 was to limit our prison population, to reduce the number of people that we send to state prisons. Prop 47 has achieved that goal while not causing crime rates to go up."

"Enough Is Enough"

"Flash Mob" of Looters in LA store.

California assemblyman Rudy Salas has introduced a bill to lower the amount a suspect can steal back to $400, for a felony charge. "Enough is enough, we need to fight back against the criminals who are stealing from our communities," the Democratic assemblyman said, according to the Daily Mail. "We have seen the unintended consequences of Prop 47's weakening of our theft laws and I believe California voters are ready to make their voices heard on this issue again."

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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