December 24, 2019
Young shoppers who plan to go to the Cherry Hill Mall on the day after Christmas will need to be attended by a guardian over the age of 21, police announced this week.
In cooperation with the mall, the Cherry Hill Police Department said the measure is intended to prevent chaos from erupting at the shopping destination.
"Over the last few years, malls nationwide have seen an increase in the number of unattended juveniles that are dropped off at retail shopping centers creating disturbances and engaging in criminal behavior," authorities said. "The Cherry Hill Police Department will have officers patrolling the parking lots and the interior of the mall as well as other retail shopping centers in Cherry Hill."
Juveniles found acting irresponsibly will be escorted off the property on Thursday. Those engaging in criminal behavior will be arrested and prosecuted, police said.
All guests ages 17 and younger must be accompanied by a parent or supervising adult over the age of 21. Proof of age will be required for admission to the mall and one parent or supervising adult may accompany up to four youths.
The policy comes four years after chaos broke out at the Deptford Mall, where a large disturbance swept up more than 500 people in a flash mob. That same day, more than 2,000 people were involved in a flash mob at the Mall St. Matthews in suburban Louisville, Kentucky.
Thursday's policy will be in effect at the Cherry Hill Mall from 4 p.m. to closing at 9 p.m.
"The Cherry Hill Police Department and Cherry Hill Mall Management want everyone to have a safe shopping experience," police said.