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Cops: Firecrackers Cover Theft Inside Mall—Again

Nearly a dozen people injured fleeing what they thought were gunshots at Florida Mall
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2018 9:26 AM CDT

(Newser) – A thief or thieves in Florida apparently used public anxiety over mass shootings as part of their strategy. Eleven people were injured fleeing the Florida Mall in Orlando on Sunday after hearing what they thought were gunshots, reports ABC 10. When police arrived, however, they determined that the noise had actually been firecrackers, set off to create a chaotic diversion during the theft of a mall jewelry store. Police have not said what, if anything, was actually taken from the jewelry store.

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No details were provided on the extent of injuries, but five people were taken to hospitals and another six declined treatment. The AP notes that a similar incident happened at a different Florida mall on New Year's Eve. In that case, a thief was trying on a pricey watch when someone set off firecrackers just outside the Sawgrass Mills store. When the clerk ran for safety into a back room, the man fled with the watch. (Read more Florida stories.)

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