Teens sought in suspected 'flash mob theft' at Nordstrom - KPTV - FOX 12

Surveillance video shows suspects in Nordstrom 'flash mob theft'

Posted: Updated: April 18, 2012 09:14 PM

Portland police have released surveillance video in hopes of identifying the teenagers involved in a suspected flash mob theft.

On Friday evening, officers went to Nordstrom at the Lloyd Center Mall after 911 calls from store employees.

Workers told police that about 10 teenagers were in the store when they started shoving items in bags and then ran out the doors toward Northeast Ninth Avenue.

PHOTOS: Flash mob theft caught on camera

"There's so many of them, we can't stop any of them," a store security guard told 911 dispatchers the night of the robbery.

The surveillance video shows the group of teens, many wearing hooded sweatshirts and bags over their shoulders, gathering in one corner of the store.

The teens browse through the racks, picking up articles of clothing. One teen is shown running out of the camera frame with multiple jackets under his arm.

Officers were able to find some of the stolen clothing, investigators said, but six North Face jackets worth $550 were taken.

Anyone who recognizes a person in the surveillance video is asked to email CrimeTips@PortlandOregon.gov.

Earlier this month, police responded to a similar suspected shoplifting mob at a southeast Portland Chevron station. Investigators do not know if the robberies are related, said police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson.

Some business owners who work near Lloyd Center say the flash mob robberies make them nervous.

Sami Hales, who owns House of Pipe on Broadway, says teen shoplifting is a major problem in the area.

Teens younger than 18 are not allowed in his store, he said, but by the time he's gotten them out, one of their friends may have already stolen from him.

"So the time, they will have like a few seconds," he said. "They're very quick, they're really professional. They grab a pipe or whatever they could have and they leave."

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