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Are You Worried About Mall Safety? [POLL/AUDIO]

Following the death of a North Jersey man during a carjacking at the Short Hills Mall Sunday night, a lot of Garden State residents might be feeling nervous about heading to malls and finishing up their holiday shopping this week.

Shopping Mall
Oli Scarff, Getty Images

To stay safe, the experts advise you to stay aware of your surroundings.

“If you’re heading back to your car and you sense you’re being followed, change direction, and if they follow you in that direction — you know that’s happening — find yourself your nearest entrance door to the mall and get back inside and call for help, that’s your best bet,” said Nick Irons, criminology professor at County College of Morris.

There are precautions everyone can take before heading into a store, as well.

“You want to park as closely as you possibly can to an entrance door, so you can get in and out of there,” said Irons. “The further away in the parking lot that you are, the more potential you have for getting robbed, and always try to park in an area that’s well-lit. That’s what you’re looking for: lighting, overhead lighting, bright overhead lighting.”

The professor said going to the mall is almost like a football game, when the defense is trying to guess what the offense is going to do.

“That’s what you’re faced with, as a patron of a mall being chased by one of these people or attacked by one of them,” said Irons. “You have to think, ‘What’s going to happen?'”

Irons said if possible, go to the mall during daylight hours. If you are ever confronted by a crook who demands your valuables, surrender them immediately.

“Give it up, don’t even worry about it,” said Irons. “What is it? It’s property, it’s money, it’s all stuff that can be replaced; lives cannot be replaced. Get rid of your presents, and get away from there as quickly as you can.”


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