Threat Puts Malls on Guard

Times Staff Writers

Los Angeles police increased patrols around malls in the West Los Angeles area after federal homeland security officials received an unspecified threat from an anonymous caller, authorities said Wednesday.

The threat, which was passed on to Los Angeles police and other local authorities, warned of a potential attack today against a mall in the vicinity of the Federal Building on Wilshire Boulevard. It was being investigated by the local Joint Terrorism Task Force.

“It’s not the kind of threat that we attach any more credibility to than any other anonymous call,” said John Miller, the LAPD’s counterterrorism chief. “But because it mentioned a specific kind of target on a specific day, we felt compelled to share it with the public.”

Gene Thompson, vice president of corporate security for Macerich Co., which owns Westside Pavilion and Santa Monica Place, said the LAPD contacted shopping centers Wednesday afternoon.


He said the malls implemented existing security plans and will stay open.

“We are going to take appropriate measures to protect our property and the people that come there,” Thompson said.

He added, “This just happens all the time. We take these things very seriously. This is no different than any anonymous bomb threat that gets called in all the time.”

Rick Caruso, a Los Angeles police commissioner and owner of the Grove, said his business was taking extra security precautions.

“If the public sees something, report it to the LAPD,” Caruso said. “Otherwise, they have to go about their daily lives. Unfortunately, that’s the world we live in.”