LOS ANGELES – Shoppers flocked to malls despite warnings of a potential terrorist strike against Los Angeles (search) shopping centers near the Federal Building.
Dozens of police and security guards patrolled shopping complexes around the city Thursday, and the unspecified threat that federal authorities fielded earlier this week passed without incident.
The warning appeared to have little effect on consumers window shopping, lunching in cafes and strolling through malls near to the Federal Building, including the elegant indoor Westside Pavilion (search) and The Grove, a maze of new shops on ersatz European streets in the Fairfax District.
"There are so many different erroneous threats, I can't live my life scared," said Barbara Schiller, 39, standing with her 18-month-old daughter, Zoe, after the mall's weekly story time.
Gail Moore, manager of Tracy Allen Fine Jewelry, said though fewer shoppers had entered her store, the mall had the normal amount of traffic for a weekday afternoon. "It's just another day," she said.
Several days ago, a caller told federal officials that an unnamed mall near the Federal Building could be struck Thursday but didn't describe the nature of the attack, police said.
Police Chief William Bratton said the call was analyzed for several days along with other information that he declined to specify. Malls were notified and police were placed on citywide alert before the warning was made public Wednesday night.
Police said they have fielded more than 1,000 tips about possible threats in the past year but decided to make this one public because it offered a specific day and general target.
On Thursday, Mayor James Hahn urged people to remain vigilant for unusual activity but to continue with their usual routines.