It's the time of year when there are always people coming and going from shopping malls. You expect it to be busy, but not dangerous.
"Dread is what goes through my mind, that scares me," shopper Elisha Keller said.
Houston police tell us a Baybrook Mall employee was leaving work around 9pm Friday when a man in a tan car pulled up beside her.
The suspect reportedly approached her, said he had a gun and forced her into his back seat.
Officers say she was driven to an unknown location where he pulled over and sexually assaulted her.
Afterward, investigators say the man dropped her back off at a store across from the mall. That's when she was able to flag someone down for help. The unidentified woman was then taken to Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital where doctors administered a rape kit.
"It's scary because you would like to think you could come to the mall and be safe, especially if there's a lot of people right now during the season," shopper Maria Cantu said.
Baybrook Mall wouldn't go on camera, but they gave us the following statement: "The safety and security of our shoppers, retailers, and employees is our number one priority. We are working closely with local law enforcement to assist in any way we can."
Some shoppers are using this incident as a reminder to stay cautious. Keller says she always has her keys in hand and locks the car immediately after buckling up her 16-month-old daughter. But now, "I'm going to be thinking about some things tonight to see what I can do extra, that's for sure," she said.
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