Talks of armed officer at Mall
FN News Editor
Circle Mall operators are in talks with police to have an armed officer on premises during operation, on the heels of last week's armed robbery that left one suspect dead.
Two armed men held up Goldylocks Jewelry around 11:00 a.m. last Wednesday, one of them reportedly jumped over the counter, before they stole away with the merchandise.
While the sales clerks were scared stiff and emotionally distraught, the suspects did not get far.
A few of the patrons and at least one store operator, who observed what was taking place, telephoned the police who arrived within minutes and met the men fleeing the building.
One of them who ran towards a waiting vehicle began firing shots and police returned fire.
The suspect vehicle crashed and, on checking the vehicle, officers discovered one of the fleeing suspects with gunshot injuries and the driver escaped into nearby bushes, according to police.
An ambulance responded to the scene and emergency personnel rendered assistance to the injured suspect who succumbed to his injuries.
The second robbery suspect, however, was arrested in the area and taken into custody.
A quantity of jewelry, believed to be the property of Goldylocks was retrieved from the rear of the Circle Mall.
The man police believe is the driver was apprehended about two hours later, reportedly in the area of the neighboring golf course and taken into custody.
Police say they also recovered an illegal pistol and ammunition from the suspect vehicle.
Following the incident, patrons and tenants alike expressed concern over security at the mall.
Mall Landlord Hannes Babak, who is visiting his family in Austria, told The Freeport News yesterday he was relieved to learn that none of the tenants or patrons were hurt and measures are being taken to ensure that there is no reoccurrence of last Wednesday's harrowing ordeal.
"I was absolutely relieved when I heard nobody was physically hurt. That was the key thing," Babak said. "We will take any measure to ensure that that remains the only incident.
"It is not something that we take lightly."
In fact, Babak, who was in Austria at the time of the incident, said a meeting was held with all of the tenants soon afterwards to hear their concerns and suggestions on how best to secure the mall.
"I want to commend them for the action because it was really very fast, how they captured the robbers," Babak said.
"We are working with the police now to figure out what is the right way and the best way to make the mall a safe place for everybody."
© 2012 The Freeport News