Two armed robberies have taken place over the past week in the Pentagon City Mall parking garage in Arlington, Virginia.
The first incident occurred Jan. 19 about 5:25 p.m. when a woman was approached in her parked car at gunpoint and forced to give up her cellphone, police said.
The robber fled the scene on foot.
A similar situation occurred Thursday around 1:50 p.m. when a man stepped out of his car and was confronted at gunpoint and gave up his keys on demand, police said.
The male thief got away in the victim's car.
“When you have the use of a firearm, even if it’s just implied or shown, that is a significant escalation,” Arlington County Police Officer Ashley Savage said. “We do take that very seriously.”
A sign located in the parking garage outlines security precautions in place to ensure the safety of shoppers.
Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information
The mall offers a security escort service, as well as patrolling and a phone system in place to call for help if someone feels unsafe.
With these armed robberies occurring back to back, many shoppers are fearful for their safety.
"I had to park a little bit closer to the door," shopper Tion Bolding said. As a frequent Pentagon City shopper and a father, he urges his daughters to maintain awareness when walking through the mall parking garage.
A similar sentiment is shared by shopper Debbie Lappat, who is hesitant about visiting malls.
“I really try to stay away from malls unless I have my husband or somebody with me,” she said.
It's unclear if these cases are connected.
Pentagon City Mall has not responded to a request for comment.