Malls have boosted security, adding rooftop observation posts, parking lot cameras and more patrols to keep shoppers safe, reports USA Today. A handful of violent incidents occurred at malls this week as shoppers mobbed stores for deals at the start of the holiday shopping season. “Traditionally, the holiday season does bring more criminal activity to shopping centers,” said Gee Cosper, a former Secret Service agent now a security consultant to shopping centers. Cosper says malls have increasingly focused this year on their outdoor spaces, which he calls “the Achilles’ heel of the shopping center.”
Malls have set up rooftop lookout posts to spot cars roving the parking lot without regard for empty spaces. Malls also send more patrols outside on foot and in vehicles. In Philadelphia, a man shot at a Kmart manager Tuesday during an argument. In Miami, two men fatally shot an armored truck guard Monday in a mall store. In Palm Desert, Ca., two suspected gang members shot each other to death in a Toys R Us packed with shoppers the day after Thanksgiving. In Long Island, N.Y., a Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death a week ago after 2,000 shoppers surged through locked doors.