Sunday carjacking at Phipps leaves lingering safety questions | News
ATLANTA — A carjacking in the Phipps parking lot in broad daylight has 11Alive News Holding the Powerful Accountable on lingering safety questions.
According to a police report obtained by 11Alive's Blayne Alexander, the victim of the carjacking told investigators he had just parked his 2015 Mercedes near Saks Fifth Avenue when a man got out of a dark SUV parked at the curb nearby. That suspect approached the victim, pointed a pistol at his chest, and told him to drop the keys.
The victim dropped his keys and his wallet, but the suspect only took his keys.
The dark SUV, later identified as a newer model GMC Yukon, followed behind the victim's vehicle as both headed out into Lenox Road towards Ga 400. The carjacking was captured on surveillance video, but it did not reveal the tag number of the suspect's SUV.
This is not the first incident of a carjacking happening near the high-end retail center. In August 2015, a Michelle Wing was brutally beaten and robbed in a Nordstrom parking lot at Phipps Plaza. Although the attack did not happen in full daylight, Wing was parked underneath a lamppost and next to a security call box.
"Two men jumped me from behind, then starting punching me," she recalled. "I really thought they were going to kill me, especially when he said he had a gun."
At the time, police said robberies and carjackings at Phipps Plaza were rare, and mall employees insisted that it was safer at the mall than practically anywhere else in Metro Atlanta.
In September, both malls connected more than 230 of their security cameras directly into the Atlanta Police Department's monitoring system. That enabled Atlanta Police to instantly see the four cameras nearest to a 911 caller's location. Police could also watch in real time as an officer responds, and a dispatcher would be able to replay five minutes of footage before the caller dialed in.
But despite the advances in technology, Sunday's carjacking raises questions whether those steps taken have been proven beneficial.
Atlanta Police is holding a press conference Monday to address the carjacking. 11Alive will be there to hold the powerful accountable and ask whether changes made by Phipps Plaza security have improved safety.