AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) - A chaotic scene unfolded in the parking lot of a normally calm, suburban shopping center Sunday night. Two guards were slashed with a knife as they tried to stop a shoplifter at the Boulevard Mall.
Amherst Police say two loss prevention employees from the GAP followed two women and a man they suspected of shoplifting out into the mall parking lot around 5:15 p.m.
Capt. Scott Chamberlin said, "They confronted the male. At that point, a struggle ensued. Both of the guards were stabbed."
The three suspects then made their getaway in a silver Nissan sedan. Police found the car at a nearby motel a short distance from the mall, but the trio was nowhere to be found. Amherst Police are searching the room at the EconoLodge where the suspects were staying.
UPDATE: Police are looking to speak to 24-year-old Dadrequez Haynes, whose last known address is in Syracuse, NY. He is considered a person-of-interest. Amherst Police say it's possible Haynes returned to Syracuse and are working with local authorities.
The Boulevard Mall has three levels of security: loss prevention associates at the store level, mall security composed of off-duty police officers, and Amherst Police who respond to calls. Store security usually makes a citizen's arrest at the mall, but circumstances can dictate a call to police.
"Generally if we get a phone call, they say they're observing someone who stole and they give us a description and we will respond and try to assist them with the arrest," Capt. Chamberlin said.
In this incident, one guard was stabbed in the neck and the other in the abdomen. Neither injury is believed to be life threatening. Police are withholding their names.
If you have any information on this crime, call Amherst Police at 689-1311.
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