FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Two violent confrontations and a sexual scare for a Fresno woman have some shoppers on edge at Fashion Fair Mall.
"He was trying to get in her car," Fresno police Lt. Joe Gomez said of the suspect in a sexual battery. "He opened the door for her. She told him to 'Get away. Get away from me.'"
Security agencies tell us the mall is bringing in more help from Fresno police, but management wouldn't confirm that to Action News. What they are saying is they're doing everything they can to make sure the people coming here to spend their money feel safe.
A worrying week at fashion fair started with a weird crime. In the parking lot on the east side of the mall, a man targeted a young woman in a dress.
"He grabbed her left side from the front," Lt. Gomez said. "He grabbed her underwear away from her body and the elastic snapped back on her body."
The victim told police the man flashed his own underwear at her too -- a small and lacy ladies' pair. He tried to get in her car, but she chased him away.
Four days later, another parking lot incident on the west side -- this one involving two suspects.
"The victim was walking to his car," Gomez said. "He hears behind him, 'Hey turn around. I want your wallet.' He turns around and one of the suspects has a box cutter."
Investigators say that suspect slashed his victim on the arm and across the chest. The injuries weren't too deep and both suspects ran away. Another robbery happened the same day inside JC Penney.
Fashion Fair management wouldn't say whether the latest troubles forced a change to their security plan.
"The shopping center does not disclose specifics about its security measures," said marketing manager Brian Malony in a written statement. "However, I can tell you that we have a thorough security program in place and we work closely with our law enforcement agencies to address specific issues."
Fresno police say the mall is generally a safe place.
"We have contract law enforcement out here and they do a great job and work very closely with security here and it's very effective," Gomez said, and shoppers seemed to agree.
"I feel safe," said Charlie Hurley of Fresno. "I'm good."
"Do you come at night at all?" a reporter asked her.
"Yeah, but I'm never by myself," she said.
Police do say shoppers should always stay alert, especially in the parking lot.