Police released video footage that shows the stunning moment a flash mob of more than a dozen people rushed a 7-11 and began looting the convenience store, leaving behind a pile of damaged goods, cigarette cartons and stolen lotto tickets.
The Los Angeles Police Department shared the surveillance footage on Twitter on Thursday, which captured the wild incident that took place at an intersection in the southern Los Angeles County city of Compton in the early hours of Monday morning.
“Motorists flooded the intersection and blocked traffic with their vehicles from all directions to create a ‘pit’ in the middle of the intersection,” the LAPD said in a release about the Monday morning flash mob.
Shortly after, spectators began getting out of their parked cars to take turns watching other drivers do donuts in the middle of the road.
“Cars were just going everywhere,” said one neighbour, Lisa Trafton, in an interview with CBS LA after the ransacking.
Afterwards, a group of more than a dozen people formed what police described as a “flash mob”, who then flooded a 7-11 located across the street from where the parked cars had been.
In the video footage, young people can be seen swarming the inside of the convenience store, which police later reported had only been staffed by one person at 12.40am.
Several angles of video camera footage from inside the store show people fanning out across the aisles and leaping over the counter at one point, grabbing everything from candy, bags of chips, cigarettes and lotto tickets, the police said.
“Angry mob mentality inside the store,” Det Ryan Moreno told CBS LA after the mass looting, noting that some of the people inside had attempted to steal the cashier’s box.
Though the sole employee working at the franchise that night was unharmed, there were individuals who attempted to hurt him, and police are specifically asking for the public’s help in identifying them.
“This guy started grabbing food and chips and started throwing bananas at the worker who’s basically hiding in the back,” Det Moreno added.
That individual, as seen in the video footage, was wearing a Colorado Rockies cap and a Backwoods Jersey.
Authorities are also asking for the public’s assistance in identifying any other people from the released surveillance footage.
“It could be someone you might work with, go to school with,” said the detective. “We really urge your help and have these people come forward.”
Anyone with tips related to the brazen late-night looting are asked to contact the LAPD.