anotherpennpolicephoto

An attempted theft on the 4000 block of Locust Street shared similarities with the "flash mob" style attacks at Temple University last month. | DP File Photo

An attempted theft on Saturday afternoon prompted a UPennAlert after police noticed similarities between the event and the mob attacks that occurred late last month at Temple University. 

At 5:10 p.m., a juvenile riding a red bicycle and wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and tan pants tried to grab an unaffiliated woman's cell phone on the 4000 block of Locust Street, according to the Division of Public Safety. He ended up not taking any item from the woman.

The suspect, who was described as around 15 years old, was riding on bikes with around 10 to 15 other juveniles. At Temple, four arrests were made on Oct. 21 after a flash mob of hundreds of people began robbing students walking on the school's North Philadelphia campus.

"Given recent events, in an abundance of caution, the number of juveniles involved and the attempt to take the woman's phone, we wanted to make the community aware and advise caution," DPS said in a statement describing why a safety alert was sent out on Saturday. 

The suspect was last seen with his group heading north on 40th Street from its intersection with Walnut Street.

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