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Investigation into Mall Attempted Abduction Continues - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Investigation into Fashion Square Mall Attempted Abduction Continues

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Albemarle Police say new leads are coming in following an attempted abduction at the Fashion Square Mall this week. That's after police released grainy images of a potential suspect in the case Tuesday night.

On the public relations front, the mall still isn't talking. It even pulled down its Facebook page for about 24 hours. It's now back up.

One public relations expert says mall management has been handling the entire situation in the wrong way.

"Since they've only been using their Facebook page to promote the mall, they're missing an action at this critical time that can be very damaging to their reputation," said Marijean Jaggers of Jaggers Communications. 

The attempted abduction happened the afternoon of November 24, around 2:00. Police say a 2-year-old girl was walking with her parents near Central Court when a man came up from behind and picked her up. The girl's father ran after him and got his daughter back.

Investigators say mall security escorted the suspect off the property, but failed to contact police.

A mall manager would not answer questions Wednesday concerning the addition of security cameras in the mall or additional training for security guards.

Allied Barton Security Services, the security company used by the Fashion Square Mall,  has issued the following statement:

A concerning situation recently occurred at the Charlottesville Fashion Square Mall and it is important for mall customers and community members to know that the mall and its security team are committed to their safety.

AlliedBarton security officers patrolling the mall responded to an incident surrounding a family having an exchange with another patron, and escorted the patron from the property. Our security officers then followed up with the family and they were satisfied with our response and the action taken.

After learning that the family later reported the incident to the police as a possible attempted abduction, AlliedBarton is reviewing what occurred and the conduct of our officers to ensure that our team is following proper procedures.  We are also providing our full cooperation to the police.

We understand and share the concern that all parents have for their children.  Our first priority is safety, especially as it applies to children.  AlliedBarton is dedicated to helping maintain safe and secure environments for all of our clients and their customers. 

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