Pittsburgh Tribune Review
Dec 3, 2010
Now “mall cop” has a whole new meaning.
Plainclothes troopers from the Greensburg barracks Wednesday began patrolling Westmoreland Mall and other retail outlets, a crime prevention program that is believed to be a first in the state. The goal is to put a crimp in retail theft and far more serious offenses, including terrorism.
The patrols will continue through the holiday shopping season into the first week or two of January, said state police spokesman Stephen Limani.
“We are trying to prevent all types of crime from happening,” Limani said. “We’ll be all over, all the major shopping centers, K-Mart, Walmart, the strip malls, here (Westmoreland Mall).”
Limani said the random patrols were sparked by several recent armed robberies, including one in a Unity parking lot in which the assailants were scared off when the female victim honked her car horn, and a rising tide of holiday season crime in general.
According to police, there have been 28 robberies — in which force was used or threatened against the victim — so far this year. There were 30 in all of 2009. “We have a month to go,” Limani said. “We’d like to keep that number down.”