9 arrests so far in local "flash mob" robbery
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am
MARLIN -- They're usually organized by a group to sing or dance in public but a flash mob in Marlin on New Year's Day has left nine people behind bars and more than a dozen still on the loose.
It was a "flash mob" robbery and police tell us this is the first time anything like this has happened in the area.
"The chief and I reviewed it and chief has put his foot down and said this will not be tolerated," said Rob Douglas with the Marlin Police Department.
Around 3:00 a.m. New Year's morning roughly 25 people entered an Exxon convenience store on Craik Street in downtown Marlin and conducted what is known as a "flash mob" robbery.
"They all went into the convenience store and overwhelmed the clerk. While the clerk was occupied trying to ring people up, the rest of the group started stealing, you know beer and soda, chips," said Douglas.
In this surveillance video you can see the man wearing a yellow cap, grabs something from the case, turns to look at the clerk while switching the product to his right hand and then putting it in his pocket.
Police said having this type of surveillance layout is crucial for solving a robbery.
"Some retailers, they buy a small system and put two or three cameras up and think it's good but if you can't see every area of your establishment, it makes it really difficult," said Douglas.
Police are also asking retailers to call for backup if they become overwhelmed by customers because it could be a warning sign of a flash-mob robbery.
So far nine suspects have been arrested and each charged with a Class C misdemeanor.