Police Blotter (crime news) for Schaumburg
Search of mall winds down; no gun found
Police have completed a store-by-store search of some 300 shops at Woodfield Mall following reports that a man with a gun may have entered the sprawling mall.
The mall was systematically evacuated after a citizen reported seeing a man with a gun inside. Police received a call about 11:20 a.m. about two suspicious men, one whom the caller believed to be armed with a handgun, inside the mall, according to Schaumburg police Sgt. John Nebl.
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Want to be the first to know about local news? Our news alert subscribers were notified about this story soon after it broke. Sign up for e-mail alerts or text COURIER to 20101 to receive text alerts. The suspects were initially spotted near an upper-level entrance, referred to as Door 6, Nebl said.
Officers checked into the report, but received no other reports of suspicious people or criminal activities within the mall. Schaumburg officers went store to store searching for the two men and asking people to leave the mall.
The mall, at Golf and Meacham roads, has nearly 300 stores and restaurants, according to the Woodfield Mall Web site.
Police were not allowing people to enter the mall as they looked for the suspects.
No injuries were reported and no arrests made.
Schaumburg Police Sgt. John Nebl said as of 2:16 p.m., as many as 50 officers were searching for two subjects who reportedly walked into Woodfield Mall with a hand gun.
He said no one was found after police conducted a complete search all of the stores. There have been no reports of any crimes that have taken place either in or outside the mall. Nebl said investigators were looking in the mall’s common areas.
“We’ve searched every single store to this point and now we are searching common areas, back hallways, garbage areas and things like that,” he said. “We’re getting very close to wrapping this up.”
Nebl said police receive calls a few times a year where witnesses spot a person with a gun at the mall, but in most cases the person in question is located quickly and the matter is easily resolved.
“The reason we escalated here was because we did not find the subjects initially,” he said. “We felt it would be best to take the proper precautions and search further.”
One mall worker from Carpentersville said she arrived at 12:30 p.m. to find police surrounding the mall entrances on the west side of the property. Police were questioning people trying to get into the mall, not allowing customers in, she said. Employees were allowed to enter, she said.
Authorities sent automated phone calls to merchants about an emergency situation but advised merchants to remain open, she said.
Individual stores began closing their gates about 1 p.m., with authorization from mall security. However, employees were instructed to stay in their stores. One worker said there were families with children who remained walking around the mall as stores were closing.
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