High-profile murders: How safe is our mall?

Reporter: Al Pefley

The Boca Town Center Mall is feeling the heat. Three high-profile murders of its customers have mall officials taking action, and officials from the mall's parent company came to town Monday to show the public just what action they have taken.

In the wake of three unsolved murders, some shoppers are a little nervous. "I never come at night, and I'm always very aware of what's going on around me, double checking," says shopper Barbara Voltz.

Simon Property Group which owns Town Center Mall reassured city commissioners they're doing plenty to improve mall safety. Some say mall management was slow to respond after the murders of Randi Gorenberg last March and the murders of Nancy Bochicchio and her daughter, Joey, in December. "We haven't failed to respond. We have a very strong security program," assures Tim Earnest.

Simon says it has added additional security cameras at Town Center Mall and moved valet parking areas further away from the mall building freeing up spots for shoppers who walk. And, since mid-January, they've also added extra off-duty Boca Raton Police in the mall parking lot and will open a police substation at Town Center as early as April or May.

"The public has told us, because we interact with the public everyday at our properties, that they feel very safe."

Simon is also teaming up with a national group called the National Crime Prevention Council to come up with a task force that will educate shoppers on how to protect themselves. "Here's the reality of it: You know someone took the life of Nancy and Joey; they're out there. We need to find them, and we need the public's support in that regard," states Boca Raton Police Chief Dan Alexander.

City council members seemed satisfied with what they heard from Simon officials. But they told them they need to do a better job of communicating with the public on the fact that there are shuttle buses and escorts they can use to get them from their car to the mall if they feel uneasy.