Cherry Hill, NJ (WTXF) - Police say a man was caught after robbing and groping a woman in a parking lot of the Cherry Hill Mall.
It’s really shocking,” said Tawanda Gladmann. She can't believe what we told her in a shopping center next to Cherry Hill Mall.
"It's overly shocking when you hear it in other areas but when it's closer to where we're surrounded and the things that we do every day it's very frightening,” she said.
Cherry Hill Police say a 52-year-old woman was near her car in the parking lot of Cherry Hill Mall when a 19-year-old man appeared and demanded money. It happened early last Thursday afternoon. The woman tried to getaway but police say the man grabbed her in a robbery turned assault.
“He grabbed her in a private area and demanded money. That's when the witness saw what was going on,” said Chief William Monaghan. He says a witness came over to help just as the victim began to hand over money.
“She distracted him by taking a handful of cash and just throwing it and a witness came up and was able to assist at that point the male fled on foot,” said Chief Monaghan.
Janet Bogorowski was shopping across from the mall this evening when she heard about it.
"I guess I'm not really surprised anymore with everything that does go on in the world." She says although it’s not the mall’s fault she hopes they’re doing something about it.
"It would be reassuring to know they're stepping up security,” said Bogorowski.
Others say what happened has them concerned about overall crime in the area.
“At the Cherry Hill Mall? I don’t know. This area’s changed a little bit,” said Brian Scheidemann. He says there have been quite a few car and home break-ins in his neighborhood recently.
“Around here you never thought that kind of stuff would happen but I mean recently I don’t know,” said Scheidemann.
The suspect was caught after Cherry Hill Police put out an alert to surrounding departments.
An officer from Merchantville saw the suspect running and helped make the arrest.