A third armed robbery – and the second carjacking – since Jan. 19 took place in the Pentagon City Mall parking garage Thursday.
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.
The second incident was Jan. 23 when a robber with a gun approached a man in the garage and ordered him to turn over his car keys before driving off with the car.
Just one week later, another woman was carjacked at gunpoint Thursday.
The garage gets a lot of traffic as it is among the easiest places to park in the area for mall shoppers, Pentagon employees and visitors to the neighborhood.
Two mall employees were shocked to hear of the incidents.
“Sometimes at the mall it’s really packed, so we have to park all the way upstairs. So halfway through the day we’ll come move our cars downstairs so we don’t gotta walk through the parking garage,” said Monica Colburn, who works at the mall.
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People who live near the mall know to watch out when they are walking around the area alone.
“I always tell people to be more aware and not to look at your phones, to be more cognizant of your environment,” said Eddie Madera, who lives near the mall.
Madera said he warns friends when they visit the area.
Mall security offers an escort service for anyone who feels unsafe. Arlington police say they are adding extra patrols in the surrounding area to crack down on the robberies.