INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. - The Indian River Mall is now requiring anyone 16-years-old or younger to be accompanied to the mall by an adult.
Gone are the days of teenagers being dropped off at the mall alone, according to mall employees.
Multiple mall employees tell WPTV they were notified at the beginning of February about a new code of conduct policy.
It is posted at various mall entrances on the wall.
The mall’s owner, Mike Kohan, said he was recently notified about the policy, but was not exactly sure when it went into effect.
He said recently there have been several issues involving unaccompanied teenagers which disrupted business operations.
Peyton Snarey works at Claire’s, and says she has seen and heard of some of the concerns surrounding some unaccompanied teens.
“Now, they just steal things and sometimes it gets out of control, taking things off the walls and throwing them on the ground and not listening to us when we say you have to stop doing that. That’s not what we do around here,” she explained.
She says the stores become disheveled, and she’s witnessed verbal fights.
But with a mall already in financial trouble, some shoppers wondered if that could hurt business and deter teens who are spending money.
But one shopper, who did not want to give her name, said fewer unaccompanied teens might attract other shoppers.
“Last year I was here a number of times and there was a lot of rowdiness going on with younger teenagers, and I’m not anti-teenagers, but the behavior was enough to deter my shopping,” said the shopper.
Kohan said the policy is not permanent and could be dropped in the future.