Chicago retail stores are being advised to look out for unruly groups of teens who have been entering businesses, creating disturbances and then escaping with stolen merchandise.
In recent weeks, three stores have been targeted by these so-called teen "flash mobs," who coordinate their plans through Twitter, CBS Chicago reports.
At a North Face store, a group of teens entered and started yelling -- before they knocked over displays and grabbed nearly $3,000 worth of clothes.
John Chikow, CEO and president the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, who oversees a popular shopping district in Chicago, said he arranged a meeting Tuesday with law enforcement and representatives from 70 stores to discuss the incidents.
To combat the problem, police said they have increased patrols near areas where teens commonly gather and have told them they will be arrested for loitering if they don’t leave the areas immediately.
Teens identified from recent incidents have been charged with retail theft and reckless conduct.