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Taboo Tabou Employees Hit During 'Daring' Flash Mob Robbery Attempt: Owner

By Kelly Bauer | December 23, 2016 11:51am | Updated on December 26, 2016 8:14am
 A group of people attacked Taboo Tabou employees and stole items during a flash mob robbery, the store's co-owner said.
A group of people attacked Taboo Tabou employees and stole items during a flash mob robbery, the store's co-owner said.
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CHICAGO — A group of people attacked Taboo Tabou employees and tried to steal items from the store Thursday night, its co-owner said.

About 6:50 p.m., a group of people rushed into the store, 843 W. Belmont Ave., refusing to check their bags or hand over their IDs to be checked, owner Mark Thomas said. One person grabbed a dress, but the staff was able to pull it away and the group of robbers ran away, Thomas said.

The store's staff called 911 and then called Thomas and his daughter, he said.

But then the group of people came back, opening the store's doors and yelling, "You b----es! We're going to kick your a--!" Thomas said.

"Just like the other flash mob, they came back," Thomas said, referencing a robbery at the store in February. "They're very daring and bold."

Thomas' daughter and son-in-law had arrived at the store, and the daughter got a photo of someone in the group who had hit an employee in the face, Thomas said. The person then punched Thomas' son-in-law, leaving a black mark under his eye, the owner said.

Thomas also got to the store and called the Town Hall Police District desk directly, but it was "a while" before police came, he said. When officers did show up, they told Thomas another store had reported being robbed by the same flash mob, and a security guard had been pushed down, Thomas said.

See surveillance footage from the robbery attempt:

But the police didn't drive the Taboo Tabou employees around to look for the mob on the street — something Thomas said the police have done before.

"They told us there was no other car in the area and there was an incident with the same people at Marshall's and they were unable to do anything to try to apprehend the flash mob," Thomas said.

The store was robbed by a group of teens in February. After that incident, Thomas said he applied for a concealed carry permit, feeling unsafe and worrying about small businesses in the area.

Thomas is also offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of people from the flash mob, he said.

"I went out and I got a concealed carry permit so that I can carry a gun," Thomas said. "If I [have] to come down to the store [late], I don't feel that the police are there and I'm made to feel safe. So I've got to take care of myself.

"We're going [to] have to start taking care of ourselves."

A report made to police said a large group of young people went inside a store in the 800 block of West Belmont Avenue and threw around merchandise, said Officer Jose Estrada, a Chicago Police spokesman.

Employees asked the group to leave and they did, but while standing on the sidewalk a girl from the group walked up to a 31-year-old man and punched him, police said. The group then ran away.

The man had bruises around his left eye but refused medical attention, Estrada said.

No one was in custody.

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