Blog / Premises Law Blog / Mob Blocks Street in Los Angeles: Looters Engage in Street Takeovery

Mob Blocks Street in Los Angeles: Looters Engage in Street Takeover

The Los Angeles Police Department Video Surveillance Footage

Flash Mob Los Angeles Attorneys

The Los Angeles Police Department Video Surveillance Footage

Ultimate Guide to Understanding Flash Mob Violence

Early Monday, during a “street takeover,” a flash mob of looters pounced on a 7-Eleven store grabbing all the snacks, drinks, cigarettes, lottery tickets, and other merchandise they could. Surveillance from the store Once they were finished with the convenience store, they fled, with looters fanning out across the area and dispersing.

Surveillance video footage released by the Los Angeles Police Department showed the looters fanning out and shamelessly ransacking a nearby 7-Eleven located in Los Angeles. Based on the footage, which captured angles from both inside and outside, dozens of people took part in the flash mob robbery and recklessly drove automobiles and other stole, snacks, drinks, cigarettes, lotto tickets and other items.

The “street takeover” began at the Figueroa Street and El Segundo Boulevard intersection of the 7 Eleven in Los Angeles. Everything started at around 12 40 a.m. on August 15.

The Takeover

The robberies were timed with the street takeover. Here, drivers flooded and blocked an with vehicles from all directions. Effectively they created a “pit” in center, according to police. Some people were mere spectators, who were already blocked in their cars. So they exited their cars to view the spectacle. In the pit, daredevils were “doing doughnuts,” or “drifting, ” increasing the risk of a pedestrian or car accident.

The seemingly random act, which initially mimicked something you may see in fun spontaneous events, saw where motorists flooded the intersection. This means participants also blocked traffic with their vehicles.

The flash mob of looters also vandalized the store and threw merchandise at employees. Before police arrived, however, they quickly dispersed, exiting the store and using surrounding parking lots and the streets.

A Capitalizing Flash Mob

Not only did the large group start grabbing things from the shelves of the Los Angeles 7-Eleven, but they also pushed back a plastic barrier to gain access to the cigarettes behind the counter. After they scattered to the floor, other people involved proceeded to pick them up.

The Crime Wave in Los Angeles

The LAPD has categorized the phenomenon as one in a series of opportunistic criminal occurrences that have seen perpetrators using flash mobs. The term “flash mob” is a term used to refer to an “event” organized on the internet or social media. It also describes a big public gathering where many individuals perform an “unusual or seemingly random act.” The key is they appear and disappear in a flash from the area they swarmed.

They don’t always create a pit in the middle, but they do congregate as a large unit. Also, drifting pits are not required to make up a flash mob. Some flash mobs are purely innocent, used for Instagram videos, and others see mobsters hitting a store and grabbing things. Flash mob looters and those committing other offenses have seen an uptick in recent times.

Prisoner Quantity and Crime

Chris Kubrin, professor of society, law, and criminology gave his take on the street takeover and looting at the northwest corner of Figueroa Street and El Segundo Boulevard.

He stated that Californian law placing the lower limit of misdemeanor shoplifting charges at $950 is a major contributor. Before 2014, the figure was $400. Based on his account, in 2011, prisons were highly populated and the Supreme Court requested that the state needed to get the incarcerated population down by 33,000 persons.

This led to the implementation of Proposition 47, which included the $950 lower limit, which aimed to reduce those in state prisons without yielding an increase in crime.

Rudy Salas Takes Action

Rudy Salas, California assemblyman, decided to take action by reversing the barrier movement. Therefore, misdemeanor limitations would be put back at $400.

In a statement provided to the Daily Mail, Salas lamented his frustration with the situation and indicated that such action needed to be taken to contend against the criminals destroying communities with this kind of action.

No Arrests Yet

While the police continue to investigate the incident that saw the theft of lottery tickets, snacks, drinks, etc., there have been no arrests made. Of course, the fact that the flash mob of looters ran off before they got there made it difficult. However, one has to assume that the surveillance video footage available should be able to aid the investigation to some degree.

A Separate and Tragic Incident

Stealing lotto tickets and convenience store items is one thing, but the Los Angeles Times reported that this all took place about an hour after another street takeover, which saw a male shot dead. He is believed to be between 15 and 20 years old. After being summoned to Mettler Avenue, law enforcement found the young man unresponsive.

He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. With the rising Los Angeles crime rate and lax prosecution, flash mobs have turned violent and more typically organized events. And they time it so they are often dispersed before police arrived in past cases.

In a case like the above, store owners and other landlords may have liability for negligent security.

Negligent Security?

Negligent security falls under the premises liability law practice area. Generally, this area of tort law holds a property owner (of residential or commercial property, no matter if it’s publicly or privately owned) liable for injuries and monetary losses sufferred by customers or visitors to their premises or land due to negligence. Landowners must take reasonable steps to ensure a safe environment for visitors at their property. Negligent security can take place on residential or commercial property, and even on city or government land.

Here, the victim store owner could also be partially at fault for failure to maintain proper security if someone visiting there was robbed or injured. The plaintiffs could look for evidence of prior skidmarks that the store knew about this threat.

This type of case would allow any survivors of dead spectators to sue for wrongful death in civil court against these defendants. A criminal case could also lead to other defendants who could be sued civilly in a Los Angeles Superior Court. Theft and property damage are serious concerns, but so is personal injury.

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If you find yourself dealing with the fallout of a car accident, truck accident, slip and fall, construction accident, or another personal injury matter, allow the expert team at Ehline Law Firm to assist you. You’re dealing with competent attorneys who are willing to fight on your behalf, even if the matter heads to trial. To schedule a free consultation today, call (213) 596-9642!


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