NORFOLK, Va. — A 13News Now investigation found crime persists at Norfolk's MacArthur Center, despite the presence of surveillance cameras and off-duty police officers working mall security.
Recent high-profile crimes at the mall prompted our investigation, including a triple shooting-turned murder in April, as well as this week's carjackings of two people and the attempted carjacking of a third.
But these are far from the only cases of crime we uncovered at the mall, located on Monticello Avenue in the heart of downtown Norfolk.
We analyzed Norfolk Police Department's "calls for service" logs to MacArthur Center from 2019 through April 2022. Police responded to the mall for a variety of reasons during that 39-month period, including:
- 20 calls for assault
- 43 calls for larceny (also known as theft)
- 3 calls for auto theft
- 3 calls for vandalism
- 1 call for robbery
During that time, police also investigated four separate shootings at MacArthur Center that ended with nine people shot. Seven of those victims were shot inside the mall, while another two were shot inside the parking garage. This week's carjacker fired shots in the garage but never hit anyone.
13News Now Investigates learned that surveillance cameras aided police in solving both of those previous shootings and this week's carjackings. Investigators identified suspects and made arrests in every shooting incident.
Our investigation also found that off-duty Norfolk police officers work security at the mall on an almost-daily basis. According to the calls for service logs, it started as an occasional presence in early 2019, but by September of that year, records show there was an off-duty officer checking in almost every day to work security at MacArthur Center.
But crime at the mall persists despite those deterrents.
This week's carjackings happened in broad daylight, where neither surveillance nor sunlight seemed to scare off the suspect.
A triple shooting at the mall in April ended with one man dead. Weeks after that homicide, Texas de Brazil closed its location at MacArthur Center, citing the "safety of our staff and guests."
A representative for Spinosa Real Estate Group, which manages MacArthur Mall, declined to comment.