FOX 32 Special Report: Local malls cracking down on unruly teens

Police say massive disruptions have repeatedly forced malls to close, and that they've had enough.

With summer just around the corner, new safety measures have been implemented and law enforcement is turning to social media to stop it.

On January 21st, shots rang out at Orland Park Mall causing chaos.

One month earlier, hundreds of teens gathered at North Riverside Mall simply to cause a scene.

Incidents like these are happening everywhere, from downtown to the suburbs.

“We're going to cause havoc and mayhem and do whatever it takes to do something disruptive,” said Commander Dion Bobo of the North Riverside Police Department. “Let's see how much attention can we get.”

Commander Bobo gets it. The North Riverside PD veteran has seen this scenario play out time and time again -- most recently last month.

“You'll find a group that just starts running in the mall there,” Bobo said. “Blocking ways for people to be able to walk.”

“You might see a group of kids that may be swearing,” he added.

Bobo says it all starts with a social media post, with something called a “trend.”

"Trend is an event. An event where - we're going to be here - you should be here, we're going to get a trend going, be at this place and time there,” Bobo said.

Posts like these pop up on Facebook and Snapchat.

“It says - get here or hear about it. Meaning that if you were here, you could say you were there,” Bobo said.

He says they're constantly monitoring the posts.

“We follow Facebook, we follow Snapchat, we have people that volunteer information to us all the time,” he said.

To stop these "trends,” local malls are starting escort policies -- or curfews.

“That's a wonderful tool, outstanding tool. Any municipality or mall that deals with these situations, I suggest they have it because it really curtails what happens,” Bobo said.

Another tool Bobo says would help his department are parents simply paying attention to their kids.

“You should know what your child is doing. No two ways about it,” Bobo said. “It's ok to trust your child. It's ok. But it's also ok to verify, too.”

And he has a message for the teens.

“They have to stop. They won't be tolerated. Those that are offenders will be prosecuted,” Bobo said.

Commander Bobo says their force and others are ready to act with extra officers at any moment to combat the unruliness.