MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A man who said he was purchasing a gift for his grandmother made off with more than $3,000 worth of jewelry from Kay's Jewelry at Oak Court Mall.
He took the jewelry straight from the employee's hands.
Now, shoppers said the incident is just an example of how crime has increased in the area.
Shopper Tiffany Atkins said she's starting to shy away from Oak Court Mall after the theft.
According to police, a young man came into Kay's Jewelry and snatched a white gold necklace and earrings from an employee's hands.
"I don't think it was right for him to do anything like that whether they were young, old, or what," Atkins said.
According to the police report, the man went into Zale's just before the theft at Kay's and was caught on surveillance video at Zale's.
The latest crime statistics for the past five years show police have been called to the mall more than 600 times during the last five years. Most of those calls were for shoplifting, burglary, robbery, and theft like what police said happened at Kay's.
"People not having jobs, money, having a lot of problems and they're just robbing - doing things to try and make do," Atkins said.
Shopper Brianna Willis said she's still holding out on hope that mall can make a comeback.
"I'd like to see Oak Court kind of get back on its feet," Willis said. "Like, I feel like I used to go there all the time, when I was younger, but now I never go there because I don't think it's safe."
Police said the man behind the theft is not in custody.
Zale's released the following statement:
If you have any information on the theft, call Memphis Police Department.