Business leaving The Mall at Greece Ridge over ’employee safety’; Greece Police investigating mall disturbance

5 – Business announces plans to leave The Mall at Greece Ridge

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GREECE, N.Y. — Theresa DiMarco has a short-term lease at The Mall at Greece Ridge for her business, Carousel Cookies. But after what happened this week, she’s ending it early.

After a fight broke out on Christmas Eve and then another disturbance the day after Christmas, DiMarco has decided to end her lease early and shut down her business at the mall.

DiMarco took to social media to announce Carousel Cookies will be leaving the mall as of Dec. 31.

Multiple police agencies responded to the disturbances on Dec. 26, and the mall closed early.

Wilmorite, which owns the mall, is now requiring anyone 19 and under to be chaperoned by a parent or guardian through Jan. 1.

News10NBC has learned that police are investigating the fights that broke out on Christmas Eve. Greece Police Chief Michael Wood said his officers are now combing through footage circulating on social media of fights at the mall on Christmas Eve.

Greece police investigating mall disturbance

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News10NBC caught up with Theresa and her husband Steve DiMarco at their commercial kitchen where they bake their cookies. Their lease at the mall was supposed to go through January, but they’ve decided to leave a month early.

They say it’s horrifying and heartbreaking what’s happening at the mall nowadays, and that it’s not the same mall as when they used to go there as kids.

“The biggest concern to me was employee safety,” Theresa said. “You know our employees we have — we don’t have young kids working for us — I have mature women working for us, and honestly I’m not going to subject them to that. They’re my age; I’m not going to subject myself to it so I’m certainly not going to subject them to it.”

Looking ahead, she said, “I think that as the winter goes on it’s just going to continue, especially on weekends, being a place to fear, not to go to enjoy yourselves and walk around the mall. And I can’t in good conscience do that to my employees.”

Her recommendation: “You need to have someone at that door, and if they’re not of age, if they’re not supposed to be there, you gotta turn them away — Galleria Mall (near Buffalo) does it. You just gotta turn them away, you’ve gotta say, ‘you don’t have an adult with you, you don’t have a guardian with you, you don’t have a parent with you’ — you can’t be here.”

The DiMarcos say mall security has tried their best to keep things safe and police did a good job when they were called to both disturbances.

And a shopper said although he feels safe shopping at the mall, he is concerned about his grandparents patronizing it.

“I feel safe going anywhere, to be honest with you, but I can’t say that for my 65-year-old grandfather who wants to go to the mall and get something,” shopper Frankie Antinetto said.

Wilmorite sent the following statement to News10NBC:

“Wilmorite has NYS certified security teams at all of their properties, including Eastview, The Marketplace Mall, The Mall at Greece Ridge, and Pittsford Plaza. The security team continually monitors the property for threats, including the identification of individuals who have previously committed crimes or those who could pose a threat by violating the rules and regulations of the property.

When an individual commits a crime at the property, action is immediately taken so that it will not be repeated. The individual is banned and arrested, and if they attempt to re-enter the property, they are arrested again.

The malls have systems in place to identify individuals as they enter the property. If they have a history of misbehavior or pose a threat, law enforcement is contacted immediately.

Eastview and The Mall at Greece Ridge both have similar partnerships with law enforcement. Both the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office and the Greece Police Department have a strong on-site presence and respond immediately to calls from security. Both agencies have a positive track record of quickly responding and swiftly diffusing situations. In addition, both mall properties enlist off duty and retired law enforcement officers as part of the security team and increase staffing during peak hours.

“We have put many safeguards in place to deal with criminals and have experienced a significant decrease in crime and misbehavior in the past year due to our proactive approach. We are doing something about this!” – Al D’Agostino, Vice President of Security at Wilmorite

The Mall at Greece Ridge has a curfew policy in place as well. Visitors under the age of 19 are not permitted on property without an adult after 4:00pm, seven days a week. If anyone attempts to violate this, law enforcement removes them immediately. There has been a tremendous decrease in loitering and attempts by youth to enter the mall without an adult over the past six months. The incident this past Tuesday was an exception. It was preorganized and similar incidents occurred at other malls in the country the same day. The Greece Police Department responded promptly and mitigated the situation quickly. Their immediate response ensured the safety of the shoppers and employees. There were no thefts, vandalism, or major injuries that occurred that evening. This one incident is not a reflection on safety at the mall.

Broadcast at 4 p.m.:

Business leaving The Mall at Greece Ridge

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