Hundreds of teens storm Norfolk mall; store owners want changes

Posted at 11:12 PM, Dec 28, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-30 23:33:31-05

Norfolk, Va. - Shoppers and store owners say something has to be done to stop the violence at The Gallery at Military Circle.

The most recent incident happened Saturday when police say hundreds of teens stormed the mall causing chaos.

“Every weekend on Friday and Saturday nights a bunch of juveniles will just swarm the malls, no intentions other than being up to no good, shoplifting, running rampant, getting into fights and just generally driving out the other traffic that comes in the mall because they don’t want to be around that,” said one store manager who did not want to be identified.

Norfolk police say they were ask to assist after a fight broke out in the food court and a car was broken into near the theater.

The McDonalds on Military Highway was on lockdown as a response to the situation. Several store inside the mall also closed early.

No arrests were made but this flash mob of sorts was alarming considering similar events took place in New York and Florida.

“I believe kids should be with their parents not just by themselves,” said Adina Burns.

Burns was shopping Monday but said what happened Saturday does not surprise her.

“I see a lot of kids just running around, terrorizing people, terrorizing the mall,” said Burns.

Some store owners want a curfew at the mall on the weekends, others hope management will do what they have done at The MacArthur Center in Norfolk.

At MacArthur Center Mall, after 5 p.m. if you are under 18 you have to be with someone over 21.

At The Gallery at Military Circle there is no rule about kids being alone, but they do have a rule that standing, walking, or gathering in groups larger than four is prohibited.

“Having reviewed the videotapes and after hearing from both customers and store owners, we have decided to convene a meeting among our tenants, local police, other key Norfolk stakeholders and ourselves to determine appropriate next steps.” General Manager Mike Glenn said in a statement released Monday.