Malls in the D.C. area have been the sites of a number of recent shootings and smash-and-grab robberies, and viewers tell FOX 5 they feel like they have to be more alert and aware of their surroundings now when shopping.
"I feel like there are more crimes happening too easily versus being able to just go to the mall on a regular day with your family and not have to worry about things," says Lolita Crowder. "It’s just way too many incidents, and it seems like younger kids."
Some crimes have even been happening in broad daylight. Most recently, robbers with hammers stole merchandise from Prince Jewelers Diamonds and Watches at Tysons Corner Center.
At Westfield Montgomery Mall, there is reportedly community concern about an uptick in crimes like shoplifting.
Just last month, a man was shot to death at the Mall at Prince George's food court.
In June, a man fired his weapon at Tysons Corner Mall, leaving three people suffering from gunshot wounds after what police say was a verbal disagreement.
At Tanger Outlets during the 2021 holiday season, police say they investigated multiple solo and flashmob thefts.
"That’s going to crop up every time you end up in any type of financial difficulty and that’s moving into a recession and that’s pretty much where we’re at," says Mike Rethford. "That stuff will get worse."
Earlier this year, there was also a robbery at an eyeglass store in Georgetown and another at CityCenterDC where thieves ransacked the Moncler store and stole thousands of dollars worth of winter coats.
Mom-and-pop stores are also feeling the impact as one owner tells FOX 5 he's fed up with shoplifting and shootings because it forces him to shut down his store while police investigate.
"It’s a lot of stuff going on like after corona," says Sea Bank. "A lot of people going crazy right now so people just need to protect themselves and stay away from all the negative and bad stuff, but you never know; people just wake up and feel like doing stuff, and it’s just crazy."