Car Drives Through Chicago-Area Mall, Prompting Police Response

September 20, 2019 Updated: September 20, 2019

Police were called to the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois, after reports of a car driving through Sears.

The mall was placed on lockdown on  Sept. 20, CBS Chicago reported.

According to Chicago-based station WGN, witnesses saw a black SUV driving through the mall at around 2:30 p.m.

Video footage posted (warning: profanity) on Twitter shows the vehicle driving past a Forever 21 inside the mall as people run away.

The SUV was seen hitting kiosks and slamming into walls.

The incident occurred at the lower portion of the mall.

Police were called to the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois, after reports of a car driving through Sears. (Google Street View)

Schaumburg police and fire officials responded to the scene. Officials from the Cook County Sheriff’s office were also deployed to the mall, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“We have officers on the scene and inside the mall,’’ said a Schaumburg police spokeswoman to the paper.

Witnesses told WGN that the driver was taken into custody. Police haven’t issued a comment on that detail.

No shots were fired in the incident, CBS Chicago reported.

Video footage obtained by CBS2 shows the door to the Sears smashed open, presumably by the vehicle.

The mall was placed on lockdown (Google Maps)

Lateef Farooqui told the station that he was on the second floor when he was a Chevy Trailblazer driving in the center of the mall “like you would a shopping cart.”

Farooqui said the driver appeared to be younger, without elaborating.

Photos sent to CBS Chicago also showed people sheltering inside an H&M store inside the mall.

The location of the Sears at the Woodfield Mall in Illinois (Google Street View)

“It was terrifying, it sounded like gunshots,” said one witness in the report.

Other details about the incident are not clear.

Facts About Crime in the United States

Violent crime in the United States has fallen sharply over the past 25 years, according to both the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) (pdf).

The rate of violent crimes fell by 49 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the FBI’s UCR, which only reflects crimes reported to the police.

The violent crime rate dropped by 74 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the BJS’s NCVS, which takes into account both crimes that have been reported to the police and those that have not.

The FBI recently released preliminary data for 2018. According to the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January to June 2018, violent crime rates in the United States dropped by 4.3 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2017.

While the overall rate of violent crime has seen a steady downward drop since its peak in the 1990s, there have been several upticks that bucked the trend. Between 2014 and 2016, the murder rate increased by more than 20 percent, to 5.4 per 100,000 residents, from 4.4, according to an Epoch Times analysis of FBI data. The last two-year period that the rate soared so quickly was between 1966 and 1968.