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Long Beach Residents Warned About Friday 'Bash Mob'

LONG BEACH ( — Officials in Long Beach are warning residents about a planned 'Bash Mob' potentially planned for Friday afternoon.

In a 'Bash Mob,' an unruly but organized crowd -- sometimes as many as 100 people -- race through the streets committing thefts, petty crimes, assaults and property damage.

A 'Bash Mob' most recently occurred in the Long Beach area on July 9 in the Pike and City Place areas downtown, according to Long Beach Police Sgt. Aaron Eaton. One person was arrested and several business reported property damage during the incident.

Detectives investigating the July 9 incident found out about the planning stages of another event, by the same group, scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday, Eaton said.

"The Long Beach Police Department takes this issue very seriously and will be prepared to arrest anyone whose intent is to commit criminal acts," Eaton said. "We will continue to support everyone's right to free speech and assembly. However, the police must also protect the safety of those victims targeted by these 'bash mobs."'

Police did not know if the planned 'Bash Mob' was connected to a similar incident in Hollywood Tuesday evening.

Eaton says the "mobs" are apparently organized on social media site and often come up with their own names. The "mobs" also arrive and leave by Metro.

"They are able to gather quickly and commit these crimes. Most often, it appears theft is the intent and target of why they are doing this." said Eaton.

As in Tuesday's incident in Hollywood, innocent bystanders and businesses are most often hit.

In the July 9 incident in Long Beach, KCAL9's Suraya Fadel said there were a few minor injuries, several businesses sustained property damage and there was one arrest and several citations.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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