Packs of wild teenagers are roaming about the county and they’re using a safety-in-numbers tactic to harass and intimidate their targets.
This latest flavor of crime spree is called wilding and according to Urban Dictionary, it’s described as a large band of wayward youth who go out in search of trouble. Sometimes they burglarize, sometimes they vandalize, and in other cases, they’ll rob, assault or terrorize their victims.
The problem with wilding, according to a spokesperson for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, are the sheer numbers of teens involved.
The most recent attack in Oakland involved a band of more than 100, who were last seen making their rounds through the streets of Hayward.
In the past, when police were called out, a half dozen officers would show up (and were clearly outnumbered). But now, agencies from throughout the county are coming together.
A joint effort, they said, will allow them to send upward of 20 or 30 officers and deputies to the scene of an incident.
Police say they’re also going to increase social media monitoring as group leaders are organizing the well-attended crime sprees through Facebook, Twitter and others. Most of wildings are taking place on Friday and Saturday nights and they’re happening all over the county.
Although the task force is not yet fully formed, officers say they’ll be prepared to better address the problem as early as this week.
Anyone arrestee who is over the age of 18 will be booked into the Santa Rita Jail where they will be held until they can post bail bonds.