By JOURDAN McGHEE
KENNESAW, Ga. — Mall employees and security have taken measures in order to reduce loss prevention after a man robbed Zales at Town Center Mall.
Compared to other malls in the area, Town Center does not have many robberies. However, the February incident caused concerned in the mall for increased security.
“The perpetrator snatched the earrings from the employee and fled the store on foot,” said Kennesaw police officer Scott Luther. “He then exited the mall through a service door.”
The suspect is a black male about 20-30 years old. He’s bald with a short-cut beard. He was wearing a white shirt, dark jacket, dark pants, white shoes and a gold chain with an “Omega” pendant.
An arrest has still not been made, police said.
The employees’s personal dedication to customers and large selection of diamonds made them a target for theft.
“We have implemented extra security precautions,” said Zales general manager Kathleen Cain. “Some may be noticeable to guests, such as a more visible police and security presence, and others are not.”
In Kennesaw, robbery has increased by over 100 percent from numbers gathered in 2015 versus 2014, according to the police.
“When you look at a map of crimes in Kennesaw, most occur closer to the highway,” Luther said, referring to Interstate 75.
Security patrols have been extended to regularly patrol Zales in addition to the entrances around the mall. Additional officers have been hired, and they have increased the presence inside the mall in order to deter shoplifters and other potentially dangerous situations.
The presence of mall security has been necessary nationwide in light of the attack at a Minnesota shopping mall, which occurred Sept. 17, 2016. CNN reported a man stabbed nine people before being shot dead by an off-duty police officer. According to an ISIS-linked news agency, the man was a “soldier of the Islamic state.” The incident is being investigated as a potential terrorist attack.
Locally, Town Center employees have been informed of the Minnesota incident and are making sure to be aware and conscious of their surroundings.
As the holiday season approaches, energy and anxiety is at an all-time high at the mall. Protecting the stores from theft and patrons is an extremely high priority for security at the mall.
“We encourage holiday safety tips like walking in pairs in well-lighted areas, avoid loading up with multiple shopping bags, which can lead to unwanted attention,” said security guard Sean Wilson.
Mall security also encourages patrons to have their cell phones fully charged and handy as well as carrying bags over the shoulder versus in the hand.
Town Center at Cobb has approximately 175 stores, making it Northwest Atlanta’s main shopping destination. It is located two blocks east of I-75 at exit 269 on Barrett Parkway.
Zales’s first store first opened in 1924 in Wichita Falls, Texas. Today, Zale Corp. is headquartered in Irving, Texas, with approximately 785 stores nationwide. Zale Corp. is one of the larger buyers and processors of diamonds in the world.