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Police arrest 14 in ‘flash mob’ incidents

Evanston police say they've arrested 14 juveniles in connection with a series of three so-called "flash mob" incidents earlier this summer.

The incidents in Evanston involved groups of teenagers going into a store, creating a disturbance and then stealing items from the store.

Cmdr. Jay Parrott says the department's juvenile bureau investigated the incidents, which occured on June 15 and 17 at the 7-11 Store at 847 Dodge Ave. and on July 16 at the Mobil Gas Station Food Mart at 1950 Green Bay Road.

He says video surveillance footage from each location helped police identify and arrest the alleged participants.

Parrott says one youth was charged in all three incidents and another was involved in two of them.

He says that because of the age of those involved, the suspects' names and the court dispositions of the cases can't be released.

Parrott says the city has numerous video surveillance cameras monitored on a real time basis at the police communications center and that the field operations division can deploy officers immediately if disturbances occur or a potential "flash mob" appears to be gathering.

The surveillance system covers numerous locations downtown as well as certain neighborhoods with higher than normal calls for police response.

In addition, he says, the police have the cooperation of the public in using video surveillance systems within businesses to assist in solving and preventing crime.

Parrott says the department thoroughly investigates and arrests all individuals who participate in "flash mob" incidents.

Media attention at the beginning of summer was focused on the downtown Chicago “Streeterville” neighborhood in which “flash mobs” committed street robberies on several victims.

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