How safe is Concord Mills for shoppers?

Officer-involved shooting on Wednesday is the most recent troublesome episode
A day after one of three suspects was shot by officers, Concord Mills mall has reopened.
Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 4:46 PM EDT
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CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - An officer-involved shooting that included a foot pursuit through the mall during the middle of the day has many folks wondering how safe Concord Mills Mall is for shoppers and diners. The incident on Wednesday was the latest in several incidents of criminal activity over the last three years.

When asked on Thursday, several shoppers at a shopping center across the street from Concord Mills said that their perception of safety has changed, and not for the better. On the other hand, Concord Police have numbers that show the crime rate for the area dropping, and a Major with the police department said he thinks shoppers should feel safe at the mall and the surrounding area.

“I used to come for Concord Mills, now I do outside,” said Shauna Rodgers. “When my kids were little I used to take them and walk there. There was the Disney store, there were a lot of things, and it was also, I felt, a lot safer. Now I really don’t want my kids over there. I used to feel like it was very safe like during the work week and during the afternoons, and I kind of stayed away on the weekend. Now I’m starting to it’s not as safe even at midday, which isn’t a very good feeling.”

Is that perception accurate, or is it driven by media coverage of the significant criminal incidents?

During a briefing with reporters on Wednesday following the officer-involved shooting, Concord Police Major Todd McGhee said that people should fee safe coming to the mall and the surrounding area.

“Crime statistics over the last several years in particular this year show once again a decrease in crime which is evidence that it’s safe,” Major McGhee said.

On Thursday, WBTV asked to see those statistics.

One graph provided by police showed the overall decrease in crime since 2018. Specifically, there are numbers showing overall violent and property crime totals down from 268 incidents in the January through August period of 2018, to 153 so far this year in the Concord Police David 2 District that includes Concord Mills.

Violent crimes include murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Property crimes include burglary, larceny from motor vehicle, larceny/theft, motor vehicle theft, and shoplifting.

Police also provided a comparison of 2022 with 2021. It shows robbery down 81%, aggravated assault down 100%, and burglary down 36%. The only category trending higher this year is motor vehicle theft up 29% from last year.

Police credit community policing in the area for the overall 38% reduction in crime in the district.

“Part of that is high visibility,” Major McGhee added. “This area has 24 officers assigned to this district in addition to 4 sergeants and a captain.”

WBTV also reached out to Concord Mills for any comment. A representative responded by saying “we forwarded your request for comment to Simon’s crisis PR firm this morning and someone from that team should be reaching out shortly.”

As of the time this story was being written, there was no further response.