Chicago Ridge Mall Under 'Flash Mob Alert'

Group reported to have planned mob action at Chicago Ridge Mall fails to show up on Saturday. Area police maintain high, visible presence at mall and are expected to return on Sunday.

An organized “flash mob” rumored to take place at the Chicago Ridge Mall turned out to be a big bust as police kept up a visible, high presence throughout the mall on Saturday.

Chicago Ridge Police alerted stores in the mall on Friday stating they had received “credible intelligence” that the same group responsible for organizing last week’s mob action at Ford City was planning to gather at Chicago Ridge Mall the next day.

Connect to Patch: Oak Lawn / Beverly-Mt. Greenwood / Evergreen Park

A similar alert was also sent to businesses along Michigan Avenue’s “Magnificent Mile,” WGN TV news reported.

Precautions were taken at Chicago Ridge after several hundred youths and adults entered Ford City Mall in the late afternoon of Feb. 23 with the specific mission of causing “chaos,” a Ford City spokesman said.

The group eventually spilled outside, throwing chairs taken from inside Ford City at cars and other vandalism. The melee closed Ford City and temporarily shut down Cicero Avenue.

A letter sent to stores from Chicago Ridge Police Chief Robert Pyznarski advised mall employees that if they suspected a “flash mob” starting to form to call 911 and enact their “safety plan.”

A kiosk employee inside the mall who did not want to give his name said he asked his manager what their safety plan was, but that his manager was unaware of the police alert.

On Saturday morning, Chicago Ridge Mall security was removing furniture and other objects that could potentially be used as flying projectiles.

An increased number of security and police officers from Chicago Ridge, Oak Lawn and Palos Park patrolled the mall throughout the day.

Chicago Ridge cops decked out in riot gear were stationed outside the entrance to Sears directly across the street from the bus stop at 95th and Ridgeland.

While there was no specific time mentioned in the information obtained by police, prior incidents when mobs assembled tended to begin in the late afternoon up until closing time.

Police also were out in force on 95th Street, parked near bus stops to deter any groups intent on causing mischief from disembarking the buses.

By the time TV news crews showed up in the late afternoon, local police appeared to have the situation under control.

At 6 p.m. Saturday, most area police had left the Chicago Ridge Mall, but are expected to return on Sunday, ABC-7 Chicago News reported.

A “flash mob” usually applies to a group of people that gather suddenly in a public place to perform a pointless activity designed to amuse and confuse the public as a form of satire or artistic or political expression.

The term has recently taken on a darker meaning pertaining to groups of people gathering to commit acts of crime or vandalism in gatherings organized through social media.

Last month, a group of about 40 teens gathered at Chuck E. Cheese’s in Oak The youths were loud and disruptive, and flashing gang signs, according to an Oak Lawn police report.

The teens left the restaurant and got back on a CTA bus, where the driver said the youths broke a window. Oak Lawn police were able to detain some of the participants at Chuck E. Cheese’s, who said they were part of a “flash mob” that had been organized through Facebook.

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Anna F March 06, 2013 at 05:34 AM
So what you're all saying is it is the parents fault. Which I agree parents do need to be there, or at least one stable adult in their life. But what about the kids who don't have that... I am saying why let them fail? Why can't society help them...not just teachers, but their neighbors, their peers, social workers, friends parents.... I am talking about more than just a teacher. But school is a good place to start considering kids spend a good part of their lives there. That's all I am saying.
Ridge resident March 06, 2013 at 02:16 PM
why is it that not one person on this thread had said what a great job the CRPD did to avert this potential "smash mob"? Well I say great job CRPD, regardless how Brad Grove, Mike Davies, Jack Lind and the Village Board try to screw you guys and gilrs, you are appreciated by the citizens and that's what matters!!!!!!
Honestly IPO March 08, 2013 at 07:36 PM
A few last comments ..... Why wasn't a reverse 911 call made to areas directly surrounding mall? When bank robbery happened last summer in Oak Lawn this was the procedure. I live at 87th and Oak Park the bank robbery was at 111th and Pulaski I received a reverse 911 call. Being less that 5 minutes from mall I would think this situation called for it. I am tired of hearing about how "kids" are in need of help. Really?? Aren't their parents the same ones we have been "helping"? So if I can raise mine ..... who work 2 jobs to pay for school because they don't qualify for anything...... Why can't the "kids" from the 60's 70's 80's 90's who received ..... Why can't they do the same??
Honestly IPO March 08, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Anna how about jobs in Oak Lawn for Oak Lawn?? These children whose lives you want to help are the same kids shooting each other day after day. Even worse is the fact that many of these killings go unsolved, why?? Because even though these children know who pulled the trigger they will not turn them in. Am I sorry when a young life is lost? Yes! Also very tired of turning on news and hearing about black on black crime. Enough let them take care of their own.
Maintenance Man March 08, 2013 at 08:57 PM
Social media, what a great tool it is. Thanks for the overtime on Saturday.


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