Portland OR April 15 2012 A flash mob of teenagers hit the Lloyd Center Nordstrom Friday night, the second incident in a little over a week in which teens snatched goods from Portland stores.
Sgt. Pete Simpson, Portland Police Bureau spokesman, said Saturday that investigators are continuing to review surveillance video from the thefts. No suspects have been identified in either case and police don’t know whether the incidents are related, he said.
On Friday night, about 10 teens reportedly stashed items in bags and ran out of Nordstrom. Police recovered some of the stolen clothing. Mall security declined to comment on Saturday.
Police said the thefts occurred about 8:05 p.m. The teens were last seen running out of the southwest doors towards Northeast Ninth Avenue, Simpson said.
On April 7, a group of teens similarly robbed about $200 worth of beef jerky, candy and beer from a Chevron store in Southeast Portland.
Police could not say whether social media was used to help the thieves organize the crimes. Without a specific threat or connection, monitoring social media is labor-intensive, Simpson said.
Concern over the link between social media and crime heightened in February, when a proposed state law, the “flash mob bill,” would have criminalized tweets and emails that ask people to commit a crime. The proposal later fizzled.
Police had tips for retailers. Businesses should install good surveillance systems and help employees understand their store’s policy on stopping or preventing thefts, Simpson said.
Retail members of the Portland Business Alliance have not raised worries about the recent thefts, though public safety concerns go through cycles, Megan Doern, a spokeswoman for the alliance, said Saturday.
Anyone with information about the two thefts is asked to send it to email@example.com.