CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – A shopper at Chesterfield Towne Center is robbed at gunpoint and tonight the crook is still on the run. The frightening ordeal played out just before 8pm Monday in the mall's parking lot. The victim didn't have any merchandise on them, they'd just arrived at the mall and simply parked their car right next to the suspect. The parking lot at Chesterfield Towne Center shows no sign of the armed robbery that happened there Monday night. The incident, though, is still fresh on the minds of nearby workers.
"We walk out together at night," said Vitamin Shoppe employee, Melanie Nazario. "We make sure that there's no one else in the parking lot. We walk each other to cars. We park very close together."
Nazario has worked for 3 years at the Vitamin Shoppe that shares a parking lot with the mall. She was surprised when she found out about the armed robbery. The victim was getting out of their car when the suspect forced them back in at gunpoint. The suspect then came through the passenger window and stole belongings from inside.
"First I'd probably stay calm and look around and see if there's any help available in the area that I can yell to," said shopper, Brian Sparks. "Probably just give them whatever I have."
We caught up with Sparks as he was walking to his car at the mall. He hadn't heard of the recent robbery and was surprised because he's always considered this area safe.
"I've lived here my whole life and I've never had issues with Chesterfield Towne Center," said Sparks. "They're always patrolling the parking lot. They're always in the facility."
"I think that it's generally safe," added Nazario. "I mean we have a great police department."
The victim in this parking lot incident was not hurt. The suspect got away with the victim's belongings and is believed to be still on the loose. A spokesperson for the mall could not comment about the incident or the measures they are taking to prevent future crimes. They did want to assure shoppers that this is an isolated and rare incident.
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