Police Out in Force to Stop Possible "Flash Mobs"

By Dan Stamm
|  Saturday, Mar 19, 2011  |  Updated 12:10 AM EDT
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Police hope to head off trouble after a fight in a <a title=Center City clothing store Thursday night." />

NBCPhiladelphia.com - Rosemary Connors

Police hope to head off trouble after a fight in a Center City clothing store Thursday night.

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There was an increased police presence in Center City Friday night amidst concerns of possible teen “flash mobs.”

The crackdown came amidst social media rumors of kids gathering and causing havoc. And the police presence came a day after video surfaced of an alleged fight Thursday between some teenage girls inside the H&M store at 16th and Chestnut Streets.

The unseasonably warm weather could have also played a role in the gathering of more teens in Center City.

And unfortunately it looks like some of the young people were out to cause trouble. Police confirmed the arrests Friday of about a dozen juveniles for summary offenses -- mostly disorderly conduct.

Included in the heavily policed areas were the area in front of H&M and Love Park, according to the Daily News.

Teens who spoke with NBC Philadelphia say that they weren't downtown to cause any trouble but rather have a gathering.

About two weeks ago a half dozen teens were arrested after an alleged "flash mob" at Liberty Place -- during the melee teen allegedly jostled pedestrians, knocking over signs and flipping over tables.

The current “flash mob” fears come about a year after various flash mobs caused concerns in Center City and on South Street.


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