- American malls are dying out.
- More than 6,400 stores
- These empty buildings make ideal places for crime.
The retail apocalypse has created a dangerous problem. Abandoned malls are becoming breeding grounds for crime, and it's likely to get worse as more malls close.
These desolate malls, often on the outskirts of town, are becoming crime hotspots.
As a result, the mayor of Akron instructed residents to "stay clear of the area," and the city began the process of demolishing the rotting shopping center in October 2016.
Take a look at these haunting photos of Rolling Acres that were taken by photographer Seph Lawless in 2012, before it started being demolished.
You can find more of Lawless' work on his and accounts.
All across America, malls are decaying.
Lawless first visited this Akron, Ohio, mall in 2012 for his book "Black Friday."
When he revisited the mall, he found it was covered in snow.
"It was eerily quiet and beautiful," he told the blog PetaPixel.
Lawless compared the experience to being inside of a "make-believe snow globe."
For years, big anchor stores like JCPenney and Sears drove traffic to the entire mall.
It was once packed with visitors.
But when these stores closed, traffic slowed.
It became a hub for crime, and the city considered it a danger to residents.
A dead body was found around the back of the mall in 2011.
In 2016, the city increased police presence there.
In October 2016, it started to be demolished.