Shopping center manager cracks down on after school crime

Minutes after Ridgeway High lets out, the parking lot at a nearby shopping center turns into a sea of students who just hang around.

Property manager Dan Rutkowski says, "We've had a lot of problem with theft...the grocery stores and the convenience stores are getting more things stolen then they are getting purchased."

It's a situation the property manager says parents make worse by taking advantage of the lot's location despite posted warnings.

Rutkowski continues, "It's just better for everyone involved that the parents take responsibility and go to the school to pick their kids up instead of coming over here disrupting this business by picking them up here."

This week the center's security staff has started cracking down, not just to protect the stores, but the students, too.

10th grader Whitney Cooper says, "People from other schools always come up here and cause problems, like trying to go in our school and stuff and start fights."

Still, some parents say the security folks are going too far by lumping everyone together.

Parent Reginald Burton says, "I'm a paying customer.  For me not to be allowed to wait on my daughter, I mean, It's not like I'm waiting hours at a time."

And it's not like all these kids are ripping off stores while waiting for their rides.
But, the center's staff isn't taking any more chances.

Rutkowski continues, "We're concerned somebody is going to get hurt."

This means the crackdown will continue.