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Friday, August 12, 2011

Flash Mobs Turn Violent, Become ‘Flash Robs’

Flash mobs are usually associated with random dance numbers or large-scale pillow fights. They’re organized over social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and tell people where to be – like at a mall, a park, a coffee shop- and what to bring – such as a costume, boombox or sweet dance moves.

But recently, gangs have commandeered the innocent “flash mob” and turned it into a “flash rob.” Social media is being used to organize groups of 50 to 100 young people that all descend on the same store or area and loot it.

Philadelphia, Pa. has been hit especially hard by this summer’s “Flash Robs.” So far there have been several injuries as a result of the violent robbing. The Police Department there has put in curfews for minors–with fines of up to $300 for the kids and $500 for their parents. The city is also extending hours at teen recreational centers, to help give kids something else to do.

We’ll talk with the Philadelphia Police Commissioner about how his city is cracking down on large groups of teenagers, and what police in the UK may be able to learn from American law enforcement efforts.

Guest:

  • Charles Ramsey, Philadelphia Police Commissioner

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Spotlight

From controversial new textbooks to a Maverick family reunion, here are stories from Jeremy Hobson's week in Houston and San Antonio.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

June 26 4 Comments

What Happens When Mavericks Gather For Family Reunion

Their family name inspired the English word we know today. We drop in on their unusual family reunion in San Antonio.

June 25 79 Comments

Controversial New Textbooks Go Into Use This Fall In Texas

The books contain information challenged by academics, that critics say is making education far too political.

June 24 9 Comments

Houston’s Mayor On Race, Roads And Gay Rights

Jeremy Hobson sits down with Annise Parker, the city's second female mayor and first openly gay mayor.

June 24 Comment

10 Years Later: Hurricane Katrina Evacuees In Houston

Syeda Hasan of Houston Public Media spoke with two New Orleans evacuees about what it took to call Houston home.