After three shootings that occurred inside stores at Buckhead’s Lenox Square mall in the past two months, its owner plans to install metal detectors at each entrance as part of a series of security measures there.
In a message posted to its website, Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group, which owns Lenox, stated it is partnering with the Atlanta Police Department, Buckhead Coalition, Buckhead Community Improvement District, Livable Buckhead and Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods to address the problem.
Those measures include adding metal detectors at a date to be announced, and the mall already has specially trained K-9 unit patrols.
“These dogs are capable of detecting firearms which are expressly prohibited on property,” the message stated. “We’re also adding state-of-the-art metal detection technology that monitors for firearms. Individuals flagged by the K-9 unit or the metal detection system will be approached by (the police) and directed to immediately leave the property if they are found to be carrying a firearm.”
Dec. 5, a gun inside a man’s pants was accidentally fired while inside Lenox’s Neiman Marcus store, with no injuries reported, the Atlanta Police Department stated. It was the second time shots have been fired inside the Neiman Marcus store and the third shooting inside a Lenox business in the past two months.
Oct. 16, four men robbed another man at Neiman Marcus, and the victim fired his gun to defend himself. Two of the four suspects in the case were arrested along with the victim, who is a convicted felon with an outstanding warrant out against him.
Nov. 20, a man was shot in the buttocks following a verbal dispute with a group of men. One suspect was arrested but the others remain at large. Several other crimes, including shootings and at least one rape, have occurred in Lenox parking lots or nearby the mall this year.
Simon also stated Lenox has 14 off-duty police officers and more than 10 private security guards who use patrol cars, UTVs and Segways to patrol in and around the property.
“Lenox Square is the one of the most surveilled environments in Atlanta and has 18 times more security personnel by square acre than the city of Atlanta, with security extending to off hours when the property is closed, providing for around-the-clock coverage,” the message stated.
Simon added it has spent “millions” overall on the mall’s security program.
“We have linked our 200+ CCTV camera system and provided (the police) with license plate readers, positioned at all vehicular entrance points, both of which communicate directly to (the police’s) Video Integration Center,” the message stated.