Three girls were charged with attempted robbery and second-degree assault after a woman was attacked by four teens shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday as she was leaving Arundel Mills mall, Anne Arundel County police said.
The 24-year-old woman told police that she was walking from the mall when three girls and a boy blocked her. The boy punched her and tried to take her purse, and when she resisted and tried to run, she was tackled from behind and hit with a board, police said. As her attackers tried again to take her purse, a passer-by saw the attack and yelled, and her assailants ran.
Police quickly apprehended four suspects. The woman, who suffered minor injuries, identified three female suspects. Charged with attempted robbery and second-degree assault are three juvenile girls: a 16-year-old from Severn, a 15-year-old from Odenton and a 15-year-old from Haymarket, Va.
Police said they have identified a possible male suspect, but the 17-year-old had not been charged.
Recent crimes at the busy mall include an armed robbery in which two men were forced to drive their attackers to ATMs and make withdrawals, a robbery at gunpoint in the parking lot and a purse-snatching. A security guard was stabbed in the mall when he detained two men suspected of shoplifting.
Crime statistics show a large increase in routine police checks in the area and fewer assaults. Through May, there had been eight robberies in the area; there were 14 in all of 2008.
"We have a lot of patrols there due to the large number of people who frequent the mall," said county police spokesman Justin Mulcahy.
"In addition to our normal patrols, we have several officers from our Crime Prevention Unit that work out of Arundel Mills," he wrote in an e-mail.