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Skateboarder 'flash mob' loots, rampages through downtown stores

Skateboarder 'flash mob' loots, rampages through downtown stores
Posted at 3:03 PM, Jun 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-24 20:42:47-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - New videos show the path of chaos carved out by a skateboarding ‘flash mob,’ believed to be the same group involved in a melee at Balboa Park earlier this week.

Surveillance video reveals what was unfolding outside the 7-Eleven on State Street just before 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, which was International Go Skateboarding Day.

Inside, Rob Paladino was buying a Gatorade drink.

“I’m at the register, and out of the corner of my eye, I see a large group of skateboarders come rolling up, and I’m like, this is probably going to be a problem,” said Paladino.

Moments later, it was, as dozens of skateboarders poured in.

“They came in, rushed the door, laughing, grabbing everything they could. If they weren't grabbing to steal, they were knocking everything down off the shelves,” said Paladino.

Paladino recorded cellphone video during the mayhem. For more than a minute, the skateboarders grabbed what they could and caused damage, and unbothered by nearby cameras.

“They didn't care they were on video. They were just trying to have fun, and what they think is fun is pretty evil,” said Paladino.

In total, the loss was more than $6,000.

A store manager tells ABC 10News that within a 45-minute span, at least two other downtown 7-Elevens were also hit.

The loss at one in the Gaslamp District was more than $8,000.

Then, around 5 p.m. at the fountain in Balboa Park, police say two people were attacked during an altercation with a mob of skateboarders.

Witnesses say some of the faces in that mob were also in the 7-Eleven videos.

“You're terrorizing the community, this hoard of skateboarders is coming through, and they’re rampaging and doing what they want,” said Paladino.

ABC 10News reached out to San Diego Police to see how many incidents were tied to the mob and are waiting to hear back.