Penn Square Mall Garage Site of Second Attack


Tuesday, February 17th 2009, 10:49 pm
By: News 9


By Colleen Chen, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A woman said a thief held her at gunpoint and robbed her. Back in December, someone raped and kidnapped a woman from the same parking garage.

The suspect in the first attack has since been arrested and police do not believe the two incidents are related, but police said Monday's attack is a reminder for shoppers to be vigilant everywhere.

As an EMSA medic, the latest victim is used to helping others in times of crisis, but has a firsthand understanding of what it's like.

Police believe Laura Griggs' attacker hid somewhere in the secluded curves of a dark parking garage.

"I never heard him coming and then all of a sudden there was a gun sticking to the back of my head and I was being pushed forward," Griggs said.

As she heard her purse dumped, she thought of and worried for her two daughters.

She felt bruises form as the thief kicked her to the ground.

"I had an eerie feeling, but not one I really paid attention to," Griggs said.

Oklahoma City Police Sergeant Paco Balderrama advises trusting your gut instinct.

"Anytime you feel your sixth sense coming on that something may be wrong, you should trust that," Sgt. Balderrama said.

Although there are 24 hour patrols around the buildings, there are no security cameras in the sole garage of Penn Square Mall where Griggs's attack took place.

In a statement the mall's manager said this:

"We continually evaluate our security program as our primary concern is always for the safety of our customers and mall employees"

Without surveillance though, police are strapped for clues.

"At this point in time, we have very few leads, but we are going to try and find who this individual is," Sgt. Balderrama said.

The thief got away with a wallet and a few other items. Griggs believes he was going after a ring she had picked up, not realizing it was already on her finger.

If you think you have any information on the attack call Oklahoma City Crime Stoppers at 235-7300.