Articles Posted in Mall Crime

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(AJC)

Georgia mall and parking facility owners have a responsibility to protect their patrons from violent crime, sexual assault, and foreseeable harm. Mall parking garages are often targets for such criminal activity due to numerous dark hiding places and frequently vulnerable customers, carrying shopping bags, car keys, and valuables ready for the taking. However, all too often, mall parking facility security measures are overlooked and understaffed.

The Atlanta Police Department recently told The AJC, “Thirty-six million people [went] through Phipps (Plaza) and Lenox (Square) last year. There’s 11,500 parking spots. That’s a city in itself within a two-block radius.” With crime in the Buckhead area up 20 percent from last year, the department is calling on “the big-box stores and the malls…to hire some off-duty cops.”

Earlier this month, FOX 5 reports, a man was carjacked while “taking a nap at a parking deck at Lenox Square.” In January, a woman told the AJC she “was assaulted in a Buckhead parking garage while “leaving the Target on Peachtree Road near Phipps Plaza.”

The harrowing incidents serve as grave reminders that Georgia mall and parking facility owners need to provide a safe and secure space for patrons entering and exiting their establishment. Parking facility security measures may include guarded entry, bright lighting, security patrols, off-duty police officers, patron escorts, and actively monitored surveillance cameras. Further, staff should be properly trained to watch for and respond to violence and suspicious behavior, such as those loitering between cars.

Victims of Mall Parking Garage Assault or Injury: What Are My Legal Options for Justice and Compensation?

As each case and property is unique, victims of parking garage and mall crime should speak with an experienced security negligence firm as soon as possible to ensure all evidence, such as surveillance footage or broken lighting, is preserved and their best interests are protected.

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A recent attempted abduction at a Cobb County mall has placed a spotlight on the potential dangers of mall bathrooms. Frequently isolated, the placement of mall bathrooms and department store changing rooms may leave patrons vulnerable to would-be predators.

A brave 11-year-old girl escaped an assault and attempted kidnapping in the Town Center at Cobb mall bathroom Tuesday evening, May 8, 2018. Police told The Atlanta Journal Constitution the child was “accompanied by her father to the hallway leading to the restrooms, where he remained while she went into the women’s restroom.” The young victim thought the bathroom was empty when a man hiding in another stall “grabbed the girl and put a knife to her throat” as she exited her own stall. Thankfully, she managed to break free, scream for help, and run to her father, who heroically tackled the assailant and held him for police arrival.

Despite the father’s best safety precautions and the child’s bravery and wherewithal at knifepoint, the terrifying ordeal could have easily turned tragic. Clearly, patron safety precautions are not enough. Georgia mall owners and their security teams need to proactively prevent violent crime and train employees to safely and effectively react to it.

The Beverly Police Department urges mall owners and security teams to take the following security precautions:

Mall maintenance or housekeeping personnel should be instructed to be in the restrooms every 15-30 minutes, and keep log sheets showing the frequency of these visits. In addition, mall security officers should also visit the restrooms periodically. A CCTV camera may be installed to monitor the corridors leading to the public restrooms, especially if the corridors twist and turn. Convex mirrors at corridor intersections can help mall patrons see around corners before they get there.

Victims of Georgia Mall Violence: Know Your Rights

Mall and shopping center patrons have a right to feel safe and secure while on the premises of the establishment they are visiting. By Georgia law, property owners are required to protect all patrons legally on the premises from any foreseeable harm. For example, should a mall owner or management company have knowledge of prior violence on or near property, they have a responsibility to implement additional security precautions to protect patrons and deter such crime. Should a mall owner fail in this critical responsibility, they may be held civilly liable for any injuries or wrongful deaths which occur as a consequence.

Can I Afford an Attorney?

Our Clients frequently come in concerned that they won’t be able to afford legal help. We believe everyone has a right to exceptional legal service. We represent our Clients on a contingency agreement, which generally means that no fees or payments are owed until and unless we recover. This means our interests are always tied to that of our Clients. Be sure to ask any potential personal injury attorney about their fee schedule and whether they represent Clientele on a contingency basis before signing a contract.

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