The reduction of Caracas’ shopping malls’ security guards has resulted in a significant rise in criminal events. Shoplifting, people getting mugged in less-crowded hallways and parking lots as well as major robberies are becoming increasingly common. Unofficially, it was known that the peaking shoplifting has been perpetrated by people walking into the few stores that still have merchandise in stock and taking advantage of clerks’ lack of awareness to take what they can.
Jewelry-store robberies have also increased. In February of 2014, Baruta police frustrated the robbery of a jewelry store in Concresa Mall. Another jewelry store was robbed in Sambil Mall on February six. One of the major events took place in December of 2013 at Unicentro El Marques, where a store’s security guard and salesman were killed as they tried to stop a robbery in a jewelry store.
In September of last year, two subjects killed a graphic designer as he was getting into his vehicle at the parking lot of Macaracuay mall. The men were trying to rob him.
Lido mal was the stage of one of the nation’s most well-planned heists, according to Polichacao. In August of 2013, an elite group, integrated by at least 12 people, entered two jewelry stores in said mall. They were geared-up and armed with high-power weapons, bulletproof vests and transmission devices. They submitted nine people who were at the scene. Alarms went off and the Polichacao units that arrived at the scene got into heavy shooting with the criminals.
According to Sambil mall’s security manager, the number of guards in Caracas malls has been reduced by 60 percent. The decrease is due to the economic measures adopted by the National Government ordering a 25% reduction in condominium charges. This restriction made them lay out 60% of security guards as well as cleaning staff and maintenance technicians. There’s no doubt this affects customer service as to preventive and reactive security when there’s a crime reported within a mall.
Source: El Universal