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Saturday, May 18, 2024
CrimeRobbery at Great Mall causes scare

Robbery at Great Mall causes scare

Last night, an incident at The Great Mall sent a stir through Milpitas, prompting initial talk of an active shooting event which later made way for reports of a jewelry store robbery…

At around 7:33PM, a theft at Valliani Jewelers was called in. Milpitas Police Department (MPD) officers responded. Three suspects in dark clothing were said to have stolen jewelry and loudly battered store displays. 

Officers turned up at the mall to discover a chaotic scene, wherein shoppers were running toward the exit doors, having initially mistaken the smashing sounds for gunfire. The Great Mall was soon formally evacuated, a process which the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, San Jose Police Department, California Highway Patrol, and Great Mall management collaborated to facilitate. The Great Mall is the second-largest mall in Northern California and occupies almost 1.4 million square feet. 

During a fast and thorough search of the mall, the police found no evidence that a shooting had taken place. In the meantime, no victims resulted from the crime. 

It took until about 10:40PM for the property to be turned back over to mall management. During the hours leading up to that transition, mall shoppers were gathered around the mall’s perimeter, many of them wondering when they’d be allowed to cross the police tape and barricades and regain access to their vehicles. As police helicopters circled overhead and rumors of a shooting spread in person and on social media, Milpitas experienced a dark reminder of the recent mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, just shy of one month ago. That event was immediately followed by other mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

Milpitas Police Department personnel said that the response of local law enforcement would have been equally aggressive during any time period, and was unrelated to the recent shooting events. 

At this time, although generic photographs of men being arrested are circulating on social media, no arrests have been announced in connection with yesterday’s Great Mall robbery.

Those with more info can call the MPD openly (408-586-2400) or anonymously (408-586-2500), or visit their website’s crime tip page: http://www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov/crimetip








Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro is a writer & filmmaker. As a screenwriter, he’s won a Fade In Award and written numerous feature films in development by companies including WWE, Mandalay Sports Media, Game1, and Select Films. He is also the resident script doctor for Rebel Six Films (producers of A&E’s “Hoarders”). As a journalist, Eric’s won a California Journalism Award and is co-owner and editor of The Milpitas Beat, a Silicon Valley newspaper with tens of thousands of monthly readers that has won the Golden Quill Award as well as the John Swett Award for Media Excellence. As a filmmaker, Eric’s directed award-winning feature films that have premiered at the Fantasia Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, and Shriekfest, and been endorsed by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Eric’s apocalyptic novella “It’s Only Temporary” appears next to Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” on Nightmare Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Horror Novels of All Time. He lives in Northern California with his wife, Rhoda, and their two sons.


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