A loud noise during an apparent attempted smash-and-grab robbery at a Great Mall of the Bay Area store in California was mistaken for possible shots fired, triggering an active law enforcement response Sunday. Around 7:30 PM Milpitas police officers began responding to the mall for reports of a theft at the Valliani Jewelers jewelry store, according to a news release, where three suspects in dark clothing smashed displays and stole jewelry. When officers arrived at the mall, shoppers were running because they thought a shooting occurred.
Police decided to evacuate the mall “in the abundance of caution,” and posted to the department’s Twitter account around 8 PM to ask residents and visitors to avoid the area. By 8:30 PM, police said “Initial reports from social media & other sources that shots were fired at GMBA are unconfirmed at this time. Out of an abundance caution, those inside GMBA have been asked to shelter in place while officers conduct a search of the mall interior. “Minutes later, officers then began working to escort workers to the mall parking lot and added that they had found no evidence of… The Mercury News