HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s a frightening situation that calls for a brighter solution. A Huntsville woman was leaving her job at Madison Square Mall on Nov. 27 when moments later, she was held at gunpoint just steps away from a mall entrance.
Huntsville Police got there quickly, but there was something very eerie and dark about the entire situation. The issue spans the entire mall property.
The incident happened on Black Friday around 10:30 p.m. A mall employee was walking out with a closed bag of money to be deposited at the bank. According to Huntsville Police, a person pulled out a gun and stole the cash and the woman’s sense of security.
One issue the mall is facing is the lighting situation in the parking lot. The incident happened in the back entrance of the mall. At the time, there were no exterior lights on at the mall. The only light in the area was coming through the clear doors to the mall entrance.
WHNT News 19 went back to the mall during business hours around 5:30 Tuesday evening. That same entrance looked very different. While there was far more light on the exterior, there were still issues. Here's what we spotted:
- One side of the entrance was lit with a bench to sit on. The other side had about five light posts, but all the lights were burned out.
- In the parking lot there are two main light fixtures near the entrance, and between the two fixtures there are 12 light outlets, but only two were working.
Driving throughout the property you see more of the same: sparse areas of light reflecting off a once bustling Huntsville shopping complex.
RCP Companies bought the property in April, and claims they inherited these problems. The company issued this statement:
“First and foremost, we deeply regret the incident that happened on November 27. We take security at all of our properties very seriously and work diligently to ensure safe environments, but we realize there is always room for improvement.”
Since buying the property, RCP Companies said it has increased security with 24/7 patrol and hiring uniformed officers on weekends. At all times you can find security circling the property.
As for the fixtures, management hired an electrician to replace and repair the parking lot lights. Many of the current issues stem from deeper electrical issues rather than just replacing burned out bulbs.
So far, 12 light fixtures have been repaired but there are still 30 to go. Also, lights will be set to stay on longer after hours to ensure more security for employees who are closing up the stores. Management met with each store in the mall. They stressed employees can be escorted to their cars. Also, Madison 12 Theater is on the property. They just renovated and have good lighting outside the theater.
Following the robbery the company plans to expedite repairs, bringing back a much-needed sense of security to the once popular Huntsville mall.