Windows Smashed, Stereos Stolen at Mall
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
CREATED Jun. 19, 2013
A string of car break-ins at the Westfield Mall in Palm Desert is making employees uneasy.
Dayle Gomez of La Quinta wrote us about it, "My Husband works at the Westfield Mall, we have had our car stereo stolen out of our car twice within the past two months. There have also been at least two other break-ins in the same area within the last two months. Nothing appears to be happening in that area, no added cameras, no added patrols... can you look into this?"
Employee at the mall, Jerry Gomez, told us this has also happened to as many as four of his coworkers.
Jerry is out two stereos after a burglar broke into his car twice in broad daylight.
The burglar even cut out parts of the fabric.
Jerry thinks they must have cut themselves breaking the window, and bled on the seats.
"In April of this year, my car was broken into while I was working at the mall, they stole my car stereo, broke my window," said Jerry.
And then two weeks ago, Jerry returned to his car to once again find the window broken out, and the stereo ripped out. The repairs still haven't been made yet.
"When you come to work you expect to have your personal effects and your property safe, but to have my car broken into twice within a couple months, I was not happy," said Jerry.
But the Director of Marketing for the Westfield Palm Desert, Franchesca Forrer, says car break-ins are actually low, especially compared to other desert shopping centers.
"Having said that, we are looking at to see if there's any patterns with anything that's happened say at other shopping centers in the area to see if that's maybe one individual or just two individuals, so that's something that police, and they're fantastic we work them all the time, is looking into," said Forrer.
Jerry says employees park at the far end of the mall to leave space for customers.
"Maybe this guy is targeting these areas because he knows that people park there and they're gone for hours at a time, and if there's no security presence then it's free game for them."
But the mall tells us they already have a large security team that works 24/7, and surveillance cameras.
She says there are also other ways to protect your belongings.
"One thing that we always recommend is to not keep belongings that are of extreme value that are in view in your car, I'd recommend that anywhere you park, anywhere. So those are things like laptops, if you have a stereo system that can pop out do so," said Forrer.
Meanwhile, Jerry knows what he'd like to see, "I'd like Westfield and the local police department to work together and try to catch this guy."
The Westfield marketing director also told us each year they evaluate whether they need more surveillance cameras.