What the Washington Post describes as a "flash mob" of juveniles (and not the kind that dances to Taylor Swift) converged Tuesday evening upon a high-end store in Georgetown, stealing about $13,000 worth of goods, DC cops tell the paper. The Metropolitan Police Department says between 20 and 30 young people showed up at a Diesel store on M Street, CBS DC reports, with the Post noting the incident happened right before 6pm. A police report cited by the paper indicates the perpetrators just started pulling items off the racks, making off with four leather jackets worth about $800, plus about $12,000 in other merchandise. Although one employee was said to have been pushed during the fracas, police say there were no injuries.
It's not the first time a flash mob has descended upon an upscale Georgetown retailer. In 2014, a group of teens flooded into a True Religion store and helped themselves to merch around dinnertime, which one shopper described as "odd": "Stuff happens maybe later, but not at 6pm," she told WJLA at the time. Shoplifting crimes had picked up enough, in fact, to spur local businesses, police, and residents to start using a group-messaging app in February 2014 to keep tabs on "people they thought were suspicious," the Post notes. But the "Operation GroupMe" initiative recently ended after it appeared to be nothing more than "an exercise in racial profiling," Digital Trends notes, finding in a review of more than 3,000 messages that 70% of suspects reported via the app were black, even though Georgetown itself is four-fifths white. There were also offensive descriptions posted, the Post notes.