iReporter
 
Saffie Farris – BubbleLife Staff
Feb 21 2011
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Northpark MallThis was sent to us this morning:

"I noticed a different crowd at NorthPark a few weeks ago, last night when walking in to see a movie the amount of Dallas Police officers was startling (along with the groups of thugs).  I stopped to speak with 2 Dallas Police Officers inside the AMC.  They said over the past 2 months the gang activity has dramatically increased at the mall and is now escalating RAPIDLY. NorthPark has hired many off duty (uniformed) DPD officers and the city has stationed Gang Unit Police on site there now.  Both of the officers said they would not drop off their teenagers at NP now, no matter how responsible and mature they are.  The gangs are moving around the mall in groups of 8-10 and could easily overpower a group of our kids-not to mention just being in the wrong place during a fight or robbery.  Seriously,  I was uncomfortable just walking around in front of the movie.

The police said one of the things the gangs are doing is going into a store with a large group--10+; making noise, causing distractions, then walking out with merchandise.  This is bad enough, but if they're in Forever 21 or Apple Store and our kids get in the way or try and do the right thing by telling the store or police what they saw,  there could quickly be a bad situation. Unfortunately, the police can act AFTER something occurs.  

The police said in an effort to stop the unwelcome kids Northpark owners have: 

1) Essentially raised the rental rate on TGI Fridays so high that they didn't renew (it was the most profitable in the metroplex) it was the only affordably priced sit down restaurant and thus attracted groups 

2) They are looking at timing to close the food court (it's a big meeting area) 

3) They are talking to DART about removing the bus stop for NP--apparently there is now a direct line from Oak Cliff to NP; $1 bus ride and quick.   There is some concern by stores at NP because they have employees who ride this line, however, it's a significant factor in making NP as easy target. 

4) They are also considering how to implement a 'curfew' where no kids under 17 would be allowed without a parent at the mall after 9:00pm 

It's really unfortunate that our neighborhood mall has come to this.  It does seem like NP and the Police are trying to remedy the problems, but it is no longer a safe place to drop off the kids for a movie or shopping.  Please forward!"