Safety measures heightened at local shopping centers for Black Friday weekend

Published: Sunday, November 19, 2017 @ 1:25 PM

TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Ty Greenlees
TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Ty Greenlees)

After mass shootings killed dozens in Las Vegas and a small Texas church in recent months, shopping centers and malls are ensuring security protocols are robust for large crowds before the busy holiday shopping season.

Regional malls and shopping centers have seen violent crimes in recent years, but nationally retailers are more focused on combating theft and nonviolent crimes that cause loss of revenue for stores. An estimated 164 million people are planning to shop or considering shopping during Thanksgiving weekend, according to the National Retail Federation.

A significant increase in store traffic can be a challenge for shopping malls and centers, and security firms are encouraging mall teams to ensure crowd control and identify suspicious behaviors during the busy holiday season. The busy shopping season comes on the heels of a string of mass shootings in populated areas. There has been more than 300 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2017, according to nonprofit Gun Violence Archive.

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At least 26 were killed and several others injured in a church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Another 58 died during a mass shooting at an October country concert in Las Vegas. Malls have also been impacted by mass shootings. Five people were killed in a mass shooting in 2016 at Cascade Mall in Washington. Another mass shooting at a Von Maur store in Nebraska left at least eight dead in 2007.

TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Staff Writer)

Global security firm GardaWorld encouraged malls to “provide situational awareness and security training to shopping mall’s personnel” before the holiday season.

“Threats your shopping mall personnel usually face are not severe. Yet, it’s important that they are trained to take appropriate actions in higher-risk scenarios to ensure everyone’s safety,” the security firm stated.

Local malls see shootings

Malls in the region have seen violent crimes within recent years. In May, a woman wounded a man during a shooting in a parking lot outside the Sears at Dayton Mall. The woman, Jordana Esses, fired 10 to 15 times and shot her boyfriend in the leg.

» HOLIDAY HIRING: 5 things we learned about local hiring this season

Other shootings have also occurred near the Dayton Mall. In late December 2014, a 16-year-old Middletown student was shot and killed outside the Dayton Mall while trying to rob a concealed-carry permit holder of his newly purchased athletic shoes. Earlier that year, a 41-year-old Los Angeles man was fatally shot outside P.F. Chang’s restaurant at 2626 Miamisburg-Centerville Road.

TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Staff Writer)

Both Dayton Mall and the Mall at Fairfield Commons are owned by Washington Prime Group, which previously told this news organization that safety is its top priority. Officials for The Greene Town Center in Beavercreek said they would not comment on specific security protocols.

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“We work closely with the local police departments and our own security teams to provide shoppers with a safe, pleasant shopping experience year round,” Shelley Sloan, regional marketing manager at Washington Prime Group, said in a statement.

From 2003-2008, there were 944 homicides involving workers in retail, according to a BLS study. Violent crimes occur more frequently in the parking lots of shopping centers, rather than in the actual malls. Parking lots are not a high priority for retailers when it comes to taking security precautions, Timothy L. Zehring, a risk assessment consultant, told STORES Magazine.

TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Staff Writer)

“If a retailer has 50 cameras on the premises, 47 of them will be in the store and three will be in the parking lot,” he said.

GardaWorld encouraged mall officials to “increase alertness within the team and emphasize the importance of fast emergency response” before Black Friday. The security company said high-risk areas during Black Friday include garbage cans, which are potential storage areas for stolen items, weapons, explosives and suspicious packages.

Combating theft

While shopping centers do prepare for catastrophic events like mass shootings, retailers are concerned with the day-to-day crimes that impact revenue. About 83 percent of merchants report an increase in organized retail crime, according to a 2016 study released by the NRF. About 89 percent of kids say they know other kids who shoplift.

“Retailers continue to deal with the challenges that come with fighting organized retail crime,” said NRF Vice President of Loss Prevention Bob Moraca. “Every day, criminals are getting more creative in the ways they manipulate the retail supply chain. Combating theft is a full-time job, and it is a constant battle industry-wide for retailers large and small to stay one step ahead of these savvy criminals.”

More than 10 million people have been caught shoplifting in the last five years, according to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention. Some malls are combating this issue by implementing curfews for young adults. The Dayton Mall has a parental escort policy on Friday and Saturday evenings for children under the age of 16. The Greene also has security officers, called guest assistance personnel, that wear shoulder radios and monitor activity in-person and via security cameras, according to the center’s website.

The Greene Town Center in Beavercreek opened in 2006 and is now boasting more than 100 shops and restaurants in the mixed retail open shopping center. TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Staff Writer)

Criminals are also finding ways to manipulate store return policies. According to the NRF survey, 68 percent of respondents said they had experienced thieves returning stolen merchandise for store credit, which is often resold to secondary-market buyers.

“Organized retail crime continues to impact retailers at a larger scale now more than ever before,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF vice president for Supply Chain and Custom Policy.

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CONTINUED COVERAGE

This news organization is committed to bringing you in-depth retail coverage during the holiday season — work made possible by your subscription. Check out our Holiday Shopping Guide 2017 for everything you need to know before you head out next weekend at daytondailynews.com/retail/

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Husband, wife accused of raping children, committing sex crimes over 10-year span

Published: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 3:17 AM

John and Dava Henley of Drummonds, Tennessee, are accused of committing sex crimes against children over a 10-year span.
Shelby County Sheriff's Office
John and Dava Henley of Drummonds, Tennessee, are accused of committing sex crimes against children over a 10-year span.(Shelby County Sheriff's Office)

A west Tennessee husband and wife are accused of committing sex crimes against children over a 10-year span.

>> Watch the news report here

John and Dava Henley are charged with two counts of rape and four counts of aggravated sexual battery. 

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John Henley is also charged with aggravated rape of a child and rape of a child, according to the indictments.

Investigators said in one charge, the couple verbally directed a child to have sex with another child. 

>> Parents charged with murder after 4-month-old son suffocates while in ‘timeout’

The charges stem from incidents that spanned from 2006 to 2016, the indictments said.

The children were between the ages of 3 and 13 when the crimes occurred, according to investigators.

Shelby County court records show the Henleys' home address to be in Drummonds.

While the crimes happened in Shelby County, WHBQ uncovered the investigation likely originated there. 

The Tipton County Sheriff’s Office took an incident report regarding the Henleys in June 2017. It listed two juvenile victims, and the investigation was looking into allegations of forcible fondling and sexual battery.

>> Read more trending news  

A spokesperson with the Tipton County Sheriff's Office told WHBQ that the couple was never arrested there because authorities discovered the incidents happened in Shelby County and passed over the case.

Right now, Dava Henley has a $500,000 bond.

John Henley has an $850,000 bond.

A court date has not been set.

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1 hospitalized after mobile home fire in Clark County

Published: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 2:24 AM
Updated: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 3:11 AM

UPDATE @ 3:15 a.m: One person was transported to an area hospital after a fire occurred at a mobile home in South Vienna early Thursday morning.

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Fire crews responded to the 10000 block of Buena Vista Road just after 2 a.m. on a fully involved trailer fire, according to initial reports.

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Damage estimates were not immediately available, however, officials said damage to the inside of the trailer was severe.

The occupant that was able to escape the fire was sent to the hospital for observational purposes, officials confirmed. 

The fire remains under investigation. 

INITIAL REPORT 

Crews are responding to the 1000 block of Buena Vista Road on a mobile home fire that occurred early Thursday morning. 

Initial reports indicate the trailer was fully involved just after 2 a.m.

We have a crew on the way to the scene and will continue to update this story with more details. 

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Fort Hunter Liggett tent collapse: 22 injured at California military base, officials say

Published: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 2:44 AM
Updated: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 2:44 AM

File photo of ambulances.
Kenn Kiser / Freeimages.com
File photo of ambulances.(Kenn Kiser / Freeimages.com)

More than 20 people were injured late Wednesday when a tent collapsed at Fort Hunter Liggett in California, officials said.

Here is the latest information:

Update 2:26 a.m. EDT July 19: According to the military base’s official Twitter account, 22 soldiers were hurt when “a U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter landing’s rotor wash blew over a tent structure” in a “remote training area.” Officials said four soldiers were taken to area hospitals for treatment.

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Contrary to earlier media reports, nobody was killed in the incident, officials said.

“This incident occurred during an annual U.S. Army Reserve exercise, Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX) that trains Army Reserve and Army National Guard Soldiers,” the base tweeted.

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Air Quality alert issued for some today; stormy pattern developing to end the week 

Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 3:37 AM
Updated: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 2:21 AM

Rain and storms come back by the weekend.

>> LISTEN: Cloudy with a Chance of Podcast: Fire and Weather

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

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  • Air Quality Alert issued for Butler, Warren County from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. today
  • Temps on the rise to end the week 
  • Much needed rain arrives Friday, lingers into weekend

>> 5-Day Forecast

DETAILED FORECAST

>> ISS will fly over Dayton this week: When to look 

THURSDAY: Butler and Warren counties are under a Air Quality Alert from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. Mostly sunny skies are expected with some increase in clouds late in the day and evening. It will be warmer with highs reaching into the middle 80s. There is a chance showers could arrive overnight.

FRIDAY: Expect a chance for showers and storms, especially by afternoon. There is a chance for one or two stronger storms, especially southwest of Dayton by evening. Highs will be in the middle 80s.

>> County-by-County Weather

SATURDAY: Numerous showers and storms are expected scattered throughout the day. Outside of storms, skies will be partly to mostly cloudy with temperatures holding in the lower 80s.

SUNDAY: Expect lots of clouds with occasional showers and storms. Highs will be near 80 degrees.

MONDAY: Partly sunny skies will start the week with a lingering chance for passing showers and storms. Highs will be in the lower 80s.

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