The rise of the Cash Mob

10:59 AM, Mar 12, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida --  The mob is infiltrating Tampa Bay.  We're not talking about the mobsters of Tampa's past.

Flash mobs?  Those are so 2011!

And, those mob burglaries?  Come on!  It's not only against the law, it's not very nice.

We're talking about the Secret Cash Mob.

"It's the element of surprise," explained Kim Kenney, founder of the Secret Tampa Cash Mob.

Kenney started Tampa's Secret Cash Mob earlier this year which made its first hit last month at Tate and Tilly's boutique in Carrollwood.

At 9 a.m., about 40 mobsters armed themselves with at least ten bucks and descended upon the unsuspecting store owner.

"It's exciting because usually we're a little slow on Saturdays until about 11, and I'm like, Oh...customers," said Tish DiFelice.

"It's such a shock to me over how successful it's been," smiled Kenney.

"I'm looking forward to seeing how this grows, looking forward to seeing how this will affect the business," said cash mobster, Karen Naef.

The first cash mob is believed to have hit first in Buffalo, New York, picking up steam in Ohio before spreading like an cash epidemic across the country.

The goal is simple...support local businesses.

The Cash Mob trend made its way to Tampa Bay in January, striking in St. Petersburg.

The St Petersburg Cash Mob's first hit was Haslam's Bookstore.

St. Petersburg Cash Mobsters are planning their fourth hit this weekend.

"I hope it takes off in every city across the country-has a cash mob. It is truly an innovative way to support local businesses," said Mario Farias, with the St. Petersburg Cash Mob and partner at Local Shops 1.

The groups Secret Cash Mobs use Social Media, like Facebook, to round up cash mobsters.

They pick a local business, and it MUST be a local business, and then they pick a day and time for the strike.

Armed with cash, at least $10-$20, they make their hit.

Tampa's Secret Cash Mob's first hit was a success.

Sales that Saturday at Tate and Tilly were up 160%!

"I think people need to realize they have to give back to the community or their stores will close," said DiFelice.

The Cash Mobs are continuing to infiltrate Tampa Bay with mobs on both sides of the bay hoping to grow with every hit.

They even come out to support each other.

We'd tell you where they're headed next, but that's a secret...

You have to ask for an invite on their websites.

Click:  Secret Tampa Cash Mob

Click: St. Petersburg Cash Mob

St Petersburg Cash Mob is making their next hit this Saturday and Tampa's Cash Mob's next target date is March 31.

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