Local News

Mall Security Guards 'Look Down' On Would Be Thieves

Posted November 28, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST

— Tis the season of giving, but others can take your gifts before you even get them home. One local mall is taking to the rooftop to stop crime before it starts.

More than 100,000 shoppers went toCross Creek Mallon Friday alone. Mall officials know criminals target shoppers, so they are using binoculars and rooftops to go after the criminals.

Criminals target shopping malls at Christmas time. There are cars thieves can break into and preoccupied shoppers they may hope to rob. However, if you try that in Fayetteville, security is bound to spot you.

"That definitely makes me feel safer because I came here in the evening, and I was actually kind of worried trying to get back to my car. My husband was at home, and it was me and my baby, and you never know who could try and accost you," said shopper Serenity O'Brien.

About 20 security guards may be working at the mall at any time. Shoppers say the visibility sends a strong message to would be thieves.

"At least somebody will see. As soon as they hear about it or know about it, you won't have people hanging around who does those kinds of things. This is the way I feel about it," said shopper Willie Mae Lawson.

Mall officials say cops on rooftops stop about six to seven crimes a day.

"We catch most of the bad people who are here for the wrong reason before they ever get inside the mall. Those who try to create a problem out in the parking lot - we're right on them real quick," said Jim Baker, mall general manager.

The security guards do not just help out in the parking lots. If someone inside the mall shoplifts, the guards just figure out which way the shoplifter is coming out of the building and catch the shoplifter there.