Police on horseback broke up a mob that ran wild in San Bernardino, California, smashing windows and robbing people in the street.
Police believe it was the work of a so-called "bash mob," teen gangs that come together via social media.
"Bash mobs" organized via Twitter and Facebook are becoming a disturbing nationwide phenomenon. The mobs rampage through a mall or a city street and quickly disperse. Police in Long Beach, California, are bracing for more "bash mob" incidents and are putting extra manpower on the streets.
Long Beach was hit by a "bash mob" just two weeks ago. Surveillance cameras caught a hundred youths rampaging through the city, assaulting and robbing residents and looting stores.
Long Beach Police put out a bulletin Friday warning people to be "prepared for a possible "bash mob" event by the same group of individuals."
A "bash mob" even targeted one of America’s best-known tourist attractions—the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Youths robbed and vandalized stores and assaulted tourists.
One citizen said, "A lot of people may not want to come to Hollywood with this sort of thing going on."
Police now believe that some of the violence first thought to be a reaction to the George Zimmerman verdict is actually the work of bash mobs. But Long Beach was hit before the George Zimmerman verdict, on July 9th. Hollywood was hit Tuesday July 16. San Bernardino was the target Thursday July 18.
One "bash mob" in Milwaukee saw a convenience store suddenly fill up at midnight and the mob looted the shelves.
Another "bash mob" incident in Philadelphia in 2011 triggered a curfew for the city's youths. Roving bands of youths beat innocent citizens and smashed up cars.
Rapper Machine Gun Kelly organized a mob in Ohio in 2011 with a tweet that read: “no matter what! 5pm South Park Mall in the food court wear disguises...then we rage!”
Kelly was arrested by mall cops and his fans rampaged through stories.
Now, police coast-to-coast are dealing with a social media trend that is both disturbing and criminal.