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The Division of Public Safety warned earlier that a "large gathering of juveniles" may convene near 40th and Market streets Wednesday afternoon.

As of 8 p.m., no incident had been reported, though Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush cautioned that it could occur later in the evening.

Whether the mob will actually form and whether it will be violent are unclear, she said, since law enforcement gets information about such mobs "third-, fourth-, fifth-hand."

DPS has "a very detailed deployment plan for these type of events," Rush said. "If it happens, we're ready."

Penn, Philadelphia, Drexel University and SEPTA police are working to increase the police presence in the area, and DPS recommends avoiding the area.

Rush said DPS met with Philadelphia Police, as well as other area police departments, to discuss similar "flash mob" incidents in Center City. The mobs — massive gatherings of teenagers that can turn violent — are thought to be organized via social media sites like Myspace and Facebook. The most recent incident occurred Saturday night near 10th and South streets.

Last April, hundreds of high-school age teenagers gathered at 40th and Walnut streets, and around 10 were arrested for disorderly conduct. In March 2009, a crowd of about 500 teens outside Strikes Bowling Lounge, located at 4040 Locust St., was broken up by Penn and Philadelphia police. Large crowds also gathered in the 40th Street corridor in summer and fall 2008, though Rush said in an Oct. 2008 article that many of the teens "weren't doing anything wrong."

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