Authorities step up security presence at South Bay shopping malls amid rumor of 'takeovers'

City News Service
Sunday, March 24, 2024
Authorities warn of possible 'takeovers' at South Bay shopping malls
Law enforcement was stepped up around some South Bay shopping centers amid rumors of planned "takeovers" at the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance and the South Bay Pavilion mall in Carson.

Law enforcement and security were stepped up at some South Bay shopping centers Saturday amid rumors of planned "takeovers" at the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance and the South Bay Pavilion mall in Carson.

"I wanted to make our community aware of information we received about a planned takeover' by youth from around the County this Saturday at the Del Amo Fashion Center," Torrance police Chief Jay Hart said in a statement Friday.

"We have seen this type of activity play out in community after community. Most recently, the takeover' at the Pike (in Long Beach) led to outbreaks of violence and a shooting nearby."

On March 16 at about 6:30 p.m., a 16-year-old boy was shot while at a large gathering at the Pike retail/entertainment area in downtown Long Beach. He was treated at a hospital for a wound described by police as not life- threatening. No arrests have been reported in the shooting.

The gathering was announced on social media and drew a large police presence, according to the Long Beach Police Department, which pre-deployed officers as a precaution and declared a tactical alert. At about 5:40 p.m., officers saw a woman fighting in the area and arrested the combatants.

In addition to the warning from Hart about the possible Del Amo takeover, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Carson Station issued a statement saying it has received information about "a disruptive youth gathering" planned Saturday at the South Bay Pavilion.

"The Carson sheriff's station and the South Bay Pavilion security team are prepared and have taken positive steps to provide all a safe environment and experience," according to the statement. "Any unruly, unsafe, harmful or criminal behavior will not be tolerated.

Video showed hundreds of teens and young adults running around the outdoor mall, with a large fight occurring as they moved around.

"We ask that all persons of leadership, including guardians and parents, take time to talk to our youth about the harmful behavior these events can lead to. If any community member has additional information about a planned unruly gathering in Carson, don't hesitate to contact the Carson sheriff's station at 310-830-1123."

Hart said the Torrance Police Department has also taken "proactive steps to enhance safety and staffing in and around the Del Amo Fashion Center" on Saturday.

"We remain committed, in partnership with Del Amo Fashion Center leadership, to providing a safe experience for all visitors," Hart said. "We will not accept criminal behavior, and our department will have zero tolerance for those who come to our community and cause harm.

"It is time for us to all come together to offer these children an alternative to violence and disorder. We need our partners in the schools, in our places of worship, in community based organizations, and at home to come along side these kids and guide them to the path of being a good citizen and a good neighbor," Hart said.

Investment in our youth is an investment in making our communities thrive. This is our job together!"

Hart also warned that there may be road closures around the Del Amo Fashion Center on Saturday. He noted that the Del Amo Fashion Center has implemented a Youth Supervision Policy, under which all visitors under age 18 must be accompanied at all times by a parent or an adult age 21 or older after 3 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Hart urged any community members with more information about planned takeovers to contact the Torrance Police Department at 310-328-3456.