Montgomery County Council Press Releases & Statements

Montgomery Councilmember Craig Rice, State Delegate Jeffrey Waldstreicher to Unveil Bill Addressing ‘Theft by Mob’ Robberies On Monday, Dec. 12, in Germantown
 
  • Release ID: 11-256
  • Release Date: 12/9/2011
  • Contact: Neil Greenberge 240-777-7939 or Delphine Harriston240-777-7931
  • From: Council Office
ROCKVILLE, Md., December 9, 2011—Montgomery County Councilmember Craig Rice, who prior to his election one year ago served four years as a state delegate in the Maryland General Assembly, and District 18 Delegate Jeffrey Waldstreicher at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 12, in Germantown will offer details of a proposed state bill they have collaborated on that would address the recent incidents of “theft by mob” robberies.

Councilmember Rice and Delegate Waldstreicher will hold a news conference in the parking lot of the 7-11 convenience store at 13001 Wisteria Drive in Germantown to explain the "Flash Mob Theft Act of 2012" that Delegate Waldstreicher will introduce during the 2012 General Assembly session that begins in January.

The Germantown 7-11 was the target of a theft by mob robbery earlier this summer as about two dozen teenagers—some of them minors—arranged to meet at the store, each take small items and leave without paying. Many of those participating even smiled directly at security cameras. Although County Police managed to eventually identify most of those involved, because the value of each item taken by individuals was nominal, those identified could not be prosecuted on significant charges.

Another group robbery occurred this fall at a Silver Spring business.

The bill supported by Councilmember Rice and Delegate Waldstreicher would establish that when multiple acts of theft are committed by multiple individuals, under certain circumstances, the acts may be considered as one crime.

Under the bill, the value of the property taken by the multiple individuals may be aggregated and used in determining whether the theft is a felony or misdemeanor. The bill could increase the severity of charges placed on individuals charged in a theft by mob event and will hopefully serve as a deterrent.

"We are very concerned by the two recent theft by mob incidents that our youth are not taking seriously the severity of these crimes,” said Councilmember Rice. “We want to ensure that business owners, the community at large and our youth are protected and believe that stricter penalties will help people understand that this type of crime will not be tolerated."

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