Should shoppers be concerned about safety at Hampton Roads malls?

Posted at 10:53 PM, Nov 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-27 21:05:25-05

Three women were assaulted while out shopping in just the past few weeks at mall parking lots across Hampton Roads.

“It gets darker earlier, you have the holidays and it does concern me,” says Charity Gibson.

Earlier this month, police say a 17-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by a man outside of a Newport News Kohl`s.

On Monday in Chesapeake, investigators say a woman was assaulted by this man who followed her outside of a Walmart. These are security images of that suspect.

And in Norfolk, a woman says she had a gun pointed at her head at Military Circle Mall after a disagreement over a parking space.

“Now it makes me think do I need to go by myself, should I take my children, should I even go?” asked Gibson.

Security concerns for holiday shoppers are not taken lightly at area malls.

“I think Military Circle so far has done a good job,” says Maureen Chappell.

Military Circle Mall along with Pembroke and Lynnhaven Malls in Virginia Beach and Patrick Henry Mall in Newport News will all have extra security patrolling inside and out in the parking lots.

But some shoppers say that's not enough.

“With people not having jobs and doing you know what they feel they need to do even if it does mean taking from others,” says Gibson.

Most malls do offer security escorts to walk you to your car, a resource Maureen Chappell says she has used before.

“Only thing the customer has to do is ask and the owners of the department stores, they will be more than happy to provide that for you, for the safety of their customers,” says Chappell.

Security Numbers at Local Malls:

Pembroke Mall

(757) 497-6255

Patrick Henry Mall


Military Circle Mall


Macarthur Center

(757) 627-6000

Lynnhaven Mall

Ask for security escort in center court