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Beating At Monroeville Mall Raises Questions About Safety

MONROEVILLE (KDKA) -- Video of a store clerk being beaten by an alleged shoplifter at the Monroeville Mall has raised questions about safety.

Monroeville Police say that aside from the astonishing video, the Monroeville Mall is a safe place to work and shop.

The video of the robbery and assault shocked everyone who looked at it, including Linda Martin, of Monroeville, who shops there a lot.

"I think it's awful and they should find her and she should be arrested," Martin said.

She says she will still shop at the mall.

"I haven't been unsafe at the mall at all," she said.

Kim Bowland, of Plum Borough, who came to the mall with her 11-year-old son, may not come back.

"It's just scary because you hear a lot of this stuff going on at this mall now," she said. "I've seen some things myself when you're here at the mall. It is pretty scary … maybe some theft and that."

Police say stores at the mall handle theft cases internally – too many for local police to handle. However, they say overall, crime is down at the mall, citing car theft numbers as an example.

At one time, 400 cars a year were stolen from the mall parking lot. Last year, there was only one.

"I know that the Monroeville Mall does a very good, if not an outstanding job of providing security," Monroeville Police Chief Doug Cole said.

Meantime, Monroeville police are hoping someone will recognize the suspect in the assault and robbery that happened last Thursday.

"Our reasons for doing that is to identify the suspect and make an arrest," Cole said.

Police believe that a small group of criminals are performing a vast number of different criminal offenses – mostly thefts.

They believe most of those criminals are coming to the mall from the city on Port Authority buses. It's gotten so bad that they've even discussed curtailing bus routes.

There are no definitive plans to do that yet.

The men who appeared in the video told KDKA-TV that they did get involved and did break up the assault. They say the suspect left the mall too quickly for them to grab her.

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