Palm Beach County, Florida – Several violent crimes, including a double murder and an armed robbery at an ATM have occurred at the Town Center Mall in Boca Raton, Florida since March of last year. Similarities in the way the crime victims were restrained in each incident has police looking into the possibility that the attacks are related.
The Florida personal injury lawyers at our firm have represented many crime victims in negligent security or inadequate security cases throughout the state of Florida. We have seen patterns like this too often. Security experts and law enforcement officials will tell you that crimes like robbery and rape (and the murders that often accompany them) are usually crimes of opportunity. Simply put; criminals commit this type of crime at places where security is minimal or all-together absent. That gives them the best chance to avoid apprehension.
The facts surrounding these incidents suggest that the mall needs to increase its security.
On August 7, 2007, a woman who had been shopping at the Town Center Mall in Boca Raton, Florida was abducted and forced to drive to a nearby ATM and withdraw $600 while her 2 year old son was held at gunpoint.
About 4 months later on December 12, 2007, the bodies of 47 year old Nancy Bochicchio, and 7 year old Joey Bochicchio-Hauser were found lying in a blood soaked car idling in the parking lot of Town Center mall. The mother and daughter had been shopping in the mall just hours earlier. Both had been shot in the head.
Boca Raton Police and The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office formed a joint task force and are investigating the crimes which they believe may be connected due to similarities including the way the victims were restrained and the use of blacked-out swimming goggles to blindfold the victims.
Investigators believe these crimes may also be related to the March 23 murder of 52 year old Randi Gorenberg, a wife and mother, who was shot and killed and later dumped near Delray Beach after shopping at the Town Center Mall.
America’s Most Wanted host, John Walsh believes the crimes are the work of a serial killer. Local authorities are not ready to endorse his opinion just yet.
Violent crimes like rape, robbery and murder are often crimes of opportunity where the attacker seeks out a location which he believes will give him the best chance to commit the intended criminal act and get away with it. Business establishments including:
– Shopping malls – Restaurants – Bars – Night clubs
– ATM machines – Banks – Shopping centers, and;
all have a duty to keep their premises reasonably safe for patrons and to protect them against foreseeable criminal acts. When business owners fail to implement adequate security measures, patrons and guests are placed at an increased risk for criminal attacks. Some of the security measures that help to deter violent crime include: adequate lighting, proper landscape maintenance, monitored video surveillance, dummy video cameras and properly trained and positioned security guards. The specific measures needed for a given location depend on the amount of criminal activity in the area.
Many crime victims don’t know that the law provides for a civil action for negligent or inadequate security. Indeed, crime victim’s compensation is available in many instances.
Our Florida Negligent Security Lawyers take pride in helping to make Florida neighborhood business establishments safer for area residents and patrons. We believe that our work in holding irresponsible corporations accountable for the harm they cause motivates many to implement better security measures.