NOVI (WWJ) — Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi was put on lockdown Saturday afternoon after a smash-and-grab robbery at Tapper’s Jewelry.
Novi police told WWJ Newsradio 950 that the incident was a smash-and-grab robbery of a jewelry store, not an active shooting as earlier reports indicated.
Many people fleeing the scene took to social media, saying they heard gunshots inside the mall. Multiple eyewitnesses told WWJ that people were running out of the mall to avoid the chaotic situation.
Authorities say that no shots were fired and that the sound of smashing glass from the robbery was possibly perceived as gunshots.
Novi police chief David Molloy said reports indicated that three black men entered the store at around 5:15 p.m., smashed out a jewelry case with hammers, grabbed a couple of Rolex watches and left.
“The three suspects were seen leaving the mall,” Molloy told WWJ. “One suspect entered a gold Chrysler 200 with potentially a fourth suspect who was driving. Two other suspects were at-large and that was when the mall was placed into lockdown.”
Molloy said that three people suffered non-life-threatening injuries while trying to flee the mall.
“Our officers — assisted by multiple other law enforcement agencies — continue to clear the mall store-by-store,” Molloy said.
As investigators clear the stores, shoppers and employees are being allowed to leave the building. Police are still on the property keeping an eye out for the described vehicle and making sure no one can enter the mall.
Officials at the mall issued a statement after the incident.
“We can confirm there was an attempted smash and grab robbery at Twelve Oaks Mall. Police confirmed that there were no shots fired at any time. The sound of breaking glass was mistaken for gunfire. We take this incident very seriously and are fully cooperating with police. The safety and security of our shoppers and diners is our first priority. Out of an abundance of caution, we are increasing security patrols. For more information on the incident, please contact Novi police as this remains an active investigation.”
[Stay with CBSDetroit.com and LISTEN LIVE to WWJ Newsradio 950 for the latest]