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Facebook 'Flashrob:' DC Victoria's Secret Robbed via Social Media

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on July 27, 2011 11:45 AM

Most people use social media to arrange dates or outings with friends, but some are actually using websites to organize Facebook "flashrobs." What exactly is a "flashrob"? A growing trend of coordinating, through social media, a robbery or a theft.

A recent incident that was initially described as a "flashrob" was a theft that occurred inside a Victoria's Secret store in Washington, D.C.

Basically, the groups organize themselves on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. They then go into the store, distract the employees somehow, and grab merchandise, The Daily Mail reports.

Other incidents have been reported in the Georgetown area of D.C., and in some cases the robbers even pose for the security cameras, according to The Daily Mail.

Some experts have said that "flashrobs," which are usually coordinated by younger perpetrators, probably give the thieves a "rush." Some of the videos have even been circulated on YouTube, The Daily Mail reports.

Though, maybe the "rush" that the "flashrob" thieves experience may be short lived. If caught, the thieves could be charged with two crimes: conspiracy to commit theft or larceny as well as the theft and larceny.

Conspiracy generally requires that two or more people agree to commit some sort of illegal act, then take a step toward completion of the illegal act. In the case of the "flashrob" thieves, the conspiracy could likely be established through whatever communication they had with each other via social media to set up the theft.

Though, it seems that with the brazen attitudes some of the Facebook "flashrob" participants have with respect to their thefts, they might already be well-aware of the legal and criminal implications of their actions. Social media and robbery might not even be such strange bedfellows: there have been other incidents where Facebook or Twitter has set off a crime.

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