After a recent series of crimes at Destiny USA Mall, city leaders and law enforcement will convene this week to discuss next steps as community members remain on alert.
Destiny USA has been the site of two shootings in three weeks and two armed robberies in a week, including one in which Juli Boeheim was the victim. A 12-year-old male has been arrested and accused of perpetrating the Tuesday, March 1 robbery of Boeheim in the mall parking lot, according to CNY Central.
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh has stated the city will do what they can to address crime, but mall security is ultimately the responsibility of mall owner Pyramid Management Group, according to CNY Central.
Increased security is one suggestion the city will bring forward to mall owners this week, but if issues aren’t adequately addressed by ownership, many wonder: Would the city declare Destiny USA a nuisance property?
“We do have certain tools at our disposal, whether it’s nuisance abatement or otherwise, that we will consider. I’ve asked our team to take a snapshot of the mall, to look at how many crimes we have. How many qualifying arrests we have that could contribute towards a nuisance abatement case. But largely those are used, those tools are used when you have a property owner that isn’t willing to come to the table,” explained Walsh.
One criminal justice expert, Keith Taylor of John Jay College, believes reducing crime rates at the mall requires a collaborative effort from mall management, the Syracuse Police Department, and community leaders. He also stated that economic factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as access to illegal guns are issues at play in crime at Destiny USA.
“What you don’t want is all of these different stakeholders to say ‘it’s not my job’ and look the other way, and allow this problem to get much worse,” said Taylor, according to CNY Central.
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