NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Businesses along Northwoods Boulevard and the North Charleston Police Department (NCPD) are talking about a spike in crimes in the Northwoods Mall area.

Those who work nearby have mixed opinions on the crime rate.

“We don’t feel as safe as we would have on the first of this year,” said Joseph Pigg, a manager at Compuzone. “It’s particularly visible crime happening during daylight hours and to a lesser extent in twilight hours. Very visible and opaque crime, even desperate I would say.”

Although Pigg thinks there’s been an increase, another business does not.

“I haven’t really seen a change in the crime rate here in this area. I have noticed more police presence when I’m leaving in the evening. There are more undercover cops in the parking lot,” said Dr. Shaye Hurd, the owner of Tricounty Eye Associates. ” I really haven’t seen too much going on. I think we maybe have had a car break-in. There’s maybe been once that a police chase was going on.”

NCPD Deputy Chief Karen Cordray said that while the crime rate has decreased inside the mall, outside is a different story.

“The hotels are where we’re seeing an increase in crime a little bit,” said Deputy Chief Cordray. “More people stay at the motels so more cars are available for targets.”

Car break-ins are the most common crime that the NCPD is seeing. But the department’s success in curbing crime inside the mall is attributed to more off-duty officers at the mall amongst other measures.

“When our officers are out patrolling and they’re not handling calls for service, they’ll make more frequent trips to the mall with it being so busy, especially in springtime. That’s what we’re doing to combat that,” said Deputy Chief Cordray.

A juvenile curfew at the mall will be in effect as the summer months come closer and patrols will still be present around the mall according to Deputy Chief Cordray.

Business owners also have mixed opinions about their personal safety.

“I would discourage family members of mine, particularly women and the elderly, from shopping around here by themselves,” said Pigg.

“I feel generally safe. Of course, if I’m leaving in the evening to go out to my car of course I’m being cautious,” said Dr. Hurd.