Local malls look at security measures after recent incidents of violence

December 28, 2011 3:26:04 PM PST
Another incident of violence at a mall is raising security questions across the nation. On Monday, a brawl broke out at the Mall of America in Minneapolis. At one point, as many as 200 people were involved.

Minnesota is not alone in seeing fights break out between shoppers this holiday season. We've reported on several scuffles in our area as well, and we wondered if the recent incidents have caused local malls to look at their security measures.

Some mall workers and shoppers told Eyewitness News they're noticing more security in the malls in our area. But security isn't something many of the major malls we contacted in this area want to talk about publicly. At Greenspoint Mall, the manager told us security is keeping their eyes and ears open for potential security problems.

Houston area retail store manager Marcy Martin told us she couldn't believe the chaos at the Mall of America on Monday. She says it reminded her of the mad dash for the new Air Jordan shoes she watched at some Houston malls last Friday.

"People have gone crazy. And it's our youth," Martin said.

We called around to several local malls asking whether the images of recent mobs have managers concerned. So far, Ray Bajerano from Greenspoint Mall is the only mall manager who agreed to speak out.

"It definitely is a concern. You never want an isolated incident like that to occur on your property," Bajerano told us over the phone.

Eyewitness News was at Greenspoint as hundreds lined up to buy a pair of the new Air Jordan sneakers. And we watched as police and mall security tried keeping the eager crowd organized.

Greenspoint Mall says it's constantly reviewing security measures for customer safety.

"Over the years, we've bought, purchased some barricades, the metal ones, so we can start forming the lines. We coordinate again with the police department," Bajerano said.

No major issues were reported at Greenspoint on Friday. But Martin believes after the madness in Minneapolis, all malls should consider beefing up security.

"It should be more security. I mean a whole lot more security because you just never know what's going to happen," she said.

We have heard in addition to the mall security that some stores are hiring their own private security. Greenspoint's GM told us after the last crowd rushed this mall, he's now considering more changes for safety and security.


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