CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Sunrise Mall has not been open to the public for years, yet people are still wanting to go in.
The Corpus Christi Police Department's (CCPD) Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) has seen increased calls related to break-ins in the past few months.
CCPD visits the mall daily to look for intruders. However, the structure has gotten so dangerous that they will start using drones to do the job. Lieutenent Cody Harrison said the calls they receive come in at all times of the day, but the mall is the only building that falls victim to the trespassing and not surrounding businesses. He said attached businesses and people who visit those businesses should not be concerned for their own safety.
"We've had the place secured multiple times and have arrested people multiple times in the area from there. It's just an ongoing problem until it gets fixed by the owner," Harrison said.
Harrison said most people breaking in are stealing copper. The CRU works with Code Enforcement to handle violations. In early May, Code Enforcement told KRIS 6 News there were three issues they gave the mall's owner citations for. Two months later, they issued 27 citations for the same three issues.
"One for the unsecure vacant building, one for the litter and solid waste, and one for the high weeds," Code Compliance Program Manager Michael Gutierrez said.
Code Enforcement even issued a notice to the owner to secure the property, which the owner has not done. Both CCPD and CRU said they will continue to monitor the area regularly, but the rest of the responsibility falls on the owner. However, only a municipal court order can force the owner to take corrective action regarding the safety and security of the abandoned building.