We’re hearing from tipsters at Kings Plaza (5100 Kings Plaza) that there’s heavy police presence at the mall in response to another flash mob, with some on social media saying that stores may again be shut down.
One Twitter user counted as many as 14 NYPD vehicles near the entrances:
kings plaza sucks! 14 cop cars and policemen in front of the entrances
— Bianca Joy (@BiancaJoy33) February 17, 2014
A Facebook user writes that police helicopters are also hovering in the area, and people are scrambling:
At least one person using Google+ claims the mob was organized on social media:
One tipster is calling it a riot, and said the stores are closing up as was done during an incident a few weeks ago. She left to avoid being locked into a store.
@SheepsheadBites pretty sure it was a riot. everyone was closing their stores, screaming too, mobs of kids running cops everywhere.
— Jalen Barone (@jalencameronn) February 17, 2014
Apparently it’s causing problems for commuters trying to get past the mall:
The whole incident echoes the situation on December 26. The mall’s chief of security told Sheepshead Bites at the time that approximately 500 teenagers became rowdy, forcing security to call for backup from the NYPD and to shutter the mall for two hours until order was restored.
Then, as now, students had off from school.
No arrests were made in the December incident, and police from the 63rd Precinct sent an e-mail to community leaders calling the perpetrators “rambunctious teens acting like children,” but noted that there were “no reports of injuries, larcenies or property damage.”
That incident was also reported to have been “promoted” in advance on social media.
The mall was also the scene of a brazen mid-day smash-and-grab jewelry heist last week.
UPDATE (6:49 p.m.): Cops took heat from local elected officials after the previous incidents for not making any arrests. If our tipster is right, officers took the hint and are preparing to detain some of the offenders:
(“Tons and tons” is in response to our question about how many teens appeared to be involved.)
This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.