To counter a growing threat for retailers, the National Retail Federation (NRF) has released a white paper providing guidelines and protocols for dealing with “flash robs.”

The NRF reports that 79 percent of more than 100 retailer companies it surveyed have been victim to a multiple offender crime in the past year. Of those, 10 percent involved flash mob tactics where people suddenly assembled in one location.

A growing number of flash robs involve violence. This past weekend, a Germantown, Maryland, 7-Eleven was a target of several dozen youths storming the store at 2:00 am, fleeing with hundreds of dollars of merchandise.

 “The number of people involved in this [shows they] clearly had a plan…They were in control of that store from the minute they were in there taking items off the shelves,” said Montgomery County Police Capt. Paul Starks.

The NRF white paper, Multiple Offender Crimes: Preparing for and Understanding the Impact of Their Tactics, is available at