Close-up of a police car's flashing blue lights

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Cleveland 19’s investigative unit obtained police reports for nine Northeast Ohio shopping centers, learning that violent crimes appear to be rare, but also, that the statistics don’t appear to tell the whole story.

A victim of one of those crimes spoke about her experience at Legacy Village last April.

The woman, who didn’t want to reveal her name, said she went shopping at the Giant Eagle at the mall at night, just like she had done so many times before. She said the parking lot was well lit, there were cameras, she knew the employees at the store so never thought twice about it.

She said she was speaking with her mom on her cell phone, got into her car and came face to face with a strange man in her car.

“He had a weapon in his hand I just looked at it,” said the victim.

The man was 31-years-old, and she said he had a hat and scarf pulled over his face. She said he said something to her about a drug addiction and that he wanted her to drive him to her bank.

Instead of following his direction, she made a decision that may have changed her life.

“I went to a car that had their headlights on. I went to somebody I knew they were in their car I could knock on their window and I could ask for help,” said the victim.

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