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Data shows Fashion Fair, Manchester Mall, and The Marketplace at River Park have all averaged about the same amount of crimes reported per day.
- Reporter Jessica Harrington joins us now with a look at just how often police are responding to calls for service. Jessica?
JESSICA HARRINGTON: Well, as we covered back-to-back incidents at Fashion Fair, we wanted to know if this was a fluke or if there was an ongoing issue that needed to be addressed. We looked at the data since the start of the year. It shows Fashion Fair, Manchester Mall, and River Park have all averaged about the same amount of crimes reported per day.
Two shootings and two grand thefts have been reported since the start of the year at Fashion Fair Mall. We requested data for three shopping centers across the city, Fashion Fair Mall, Manchester Mall, and the Marketplace at River Park, to look at the number of calls for service into Fresno police and the types of calls.
ROB BECKWITH: And when you really take the numbers and you look at it as a whole, I think what you see is that the malls generally are comparable in terms of those numbers.
JESSICA HARRINGTON: On average, since the start of the year, Manchester Mall has 8.4 calls for service per day into Fresno PD. Fashion Fair has 6.7 calls per day, and River Park has 5.1. When it comes to actual crimes reported, Fashion Fair is averaging a little more than one crime per day since January 1. Manchester Mall and River Park are averaging just under one crime per day. Fashion Fair points out that they have 20 times the amount of people per month that Manchester does.
ROB BECKWITH: Those crimes are all across the board, the majority of which are property crimes, not violent crimes, at which would be expected in a retail environment or in a place such as a shopping mall.
JESSICA HARRINGTON: Fashion Fair had the most theft and shoplifting, followed by River Park, then Manchester. Fashion Fair also had the most weapons offenses since the start of the year with nine, compared to Manchester which had five and River Park which had four. Officials say those offenses can include shootings or people in possession of a gun or knife or any other item that would be considered a weapon, like on April 30 when Fashion Fair Mall Security told a group of men who were smoking to leave the property. Police say one of the men flashed a gun in his waistband. When Fresno police responded, they were able to detain the individuals and three firearms were recovered.
YVONNE VALLEJO: To me, it's just like a lot of, like, teenagers that are coming to, you know, act up and act out. And it's unfortunate.
JESSICA HARRINGTON: Yvonne Vallejo has worked at the mall for multiple years. She says she feels safe working there and believes it's a safe place for shoppers but does think security could be more visible to help deter crime.
YVONNE VALLEJO: What I do really hope for the future is that, you know, security will have like a larger presence and a bigger presence that can be seen in other, like, shopping environments in Fresno and in other cities that we just don't have here.
JESSICA HARRINGTON: We reached out to Fashion Fair Mall about security practices and asked if they would expand visibility. They said, per policy, they do not comment on their security practices to preserve its effectiveness. Officials with River Park say they're working to keep the area as safe as possible and are proud they have the least amount of calls for service. Manchester Mall says since partnering with Fresno PD, crime has decreased there. They say the data is not necessarily a reflection of the day-to-day at the mall. In the studio, Jessica Harrington, ABC 30 Action News.