In two incidents less than three hours apart Saturday and another last week, things got dicey at and around Mayfair Mall for police, security officers and even nearby neighbors and unsuspecting drivers.
In one incident, a store security employee was badly beaten; in another, a worker at the same store was severely bitten; and the other incident led to thieves racing off on a high-speed escape in which they careened recklessly through residential streets.
Here's a rundown on all the activity:
Foot chase ends in beating
At 2:44 p.m. Saturday, three and a possible fourth suspect escaped after two of them beat and kicked a loss-prevention officer at when he tried to stop them in the act of stealing a large amount of clothing.
Two men had been spotted in the store with armloads of merchandise, heading toward the door. The security officer tried to cut them off and they ran, dropping the clothing, while they were being chased by the officer.
He managed to catch up to and tackle one of the men, but the other suspect and a third man from a waiting van attacked the officer, punching and kicking him until he let go of their accomplice. They fled in the van, and a witness said he thought he had seen a fourth man inside it.
The security officer suffered numerous cuts and abrasions and was taken to Froedtert Hospital. The store recovered $668.60 worth of merchandise in the attempted theft.
At 5:28 p.m. the same afternoon, a police officer spotted four men in a white Cadillac driving suspiciously in the Mayfair Mall parking lot and called mall security to monitor it on surveillance cameras. The patrol officer had recognized the car as being similar to one used in a number of recent vehicle entries and break-ins at Best Buy and elsewhere in the area.
One man was seen on camera getting out of the Cadillac and trying to enter a parked car. Police began to close in, but when the suspects realized they were being watched, they sped out of the parking lot and raced off through the streets of the neighborhood to the east of Mayfair.
Police followed but never got close enough to initiate a chase, but they got a call from a resident of the 9000 block of West North Avenue who had heard a roaring engine and screeching tires and watched the Cadillac hurtle around the corner onto North 91st Street.
He also saw the front passenger jettison something. It turned out to be a car stereo, which proved to have been stolen earlier from a car parked at Mayfair.
Police were able to obtain fingerprints and other evidence from the car one of the suspects was seen trying to enter.
Woman bites security officer
A 22-year-old Milwaukee woman was arrested for retail theft and battery Wednesday at Macy’s at Mayfair Mall after she severely bit a Macy’s loss-prevention officer who stopped her outside the store when she tried to leave without paying for $289.50 worth of merchandise.
She had been seen on camera taking an armload of clothing items into a fitting room and coming out with only three. When the room was checked and only one item, a hat, was found, the security officer suspected she had concealed the rest in a bag, and he followed her.
When she left the store, he stopped her, but she refused to return to the store with him and began shouting and screaming. When he took hold of her, she fought back, so he tried to get her to the floor and handcuff her.
She punched and kicked him, shouting “Get off me! You’re not going to handcuff me!” and then bit him on the wrist. When he yanked his arm away, she bit down on his thigh and would not let go.
The store employee said he shouted "Stop biting me!" but she didn't, so he finally hit her in the head to get her to stop.
She had three shirts and a hat, all Polo brand, in a bag that had been lined with metallic duct tape to foil detection by security sensors.
The Macy’s employee reported considerable pain, swelling and bleeding from the bites, and he asked that the woman be tested for communicable diseases.
The woman had several prior arrests on her record for theft, resisting arrest, failure to appear and bail jumping. Because of the battery charge, her case was to be presented to the Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office.