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    Wrentham mall gets OK for midnight sale event

    Shoppers at Wrentham Outlets on Friday, Nov. 24, 2006.
    Wiqan Ang/Globe File/2006
    Shoppers at Wrentham Outlets on Friday, Nov. 24, 2006.

    The day-after-Thanksgiving “Midnight Madness” sale at the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets appears poised to go on this year after mall and town officials resolved a dispute about installing security cameras at the mall.

    Last week, Planning Board members in Wrentham voted to allow the sale to go forward on the condition that the mall install 10 security cameras. But they ignored the mall’s request that it would no longer have to come in front of the town for permission to hold the event each year, leading an attorney for the mall to declare that Midnight Madness was “in limbo.”

    The attorney, Lawrence Kaplan, has since told town officials that the mall accepts the town’s decision.


    “Wrentham Village Premium Outlets accepted the terms of the Planning Board’s decision,” the mall said in a statement obtained by the Globe. “We are already working on arrangements for the cameras. We thank the members of the Planning Board and the Police Department for their hard work. We look forward to hosting a great sale event for all.”

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    The statement echoes an Oct. 18 e-mail sent to town officials from Kaplan, in which Kaplan says he is “pleased to accept the terms of the Planning Board’s decision.”

    Store managers who attended last week’s Planning Board meeting said the Midnight Madness sale is vital to their bottom lines. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the traditional start to the holiday shopping season.

    James Anderson, Wrentham’s police chief, said the town and the mall still need to iron out specifics about the cameras, but he expects everything to be resolved.

    “I’m sure that they’ll do the right thing,” Anderson said. “Time is running short here.”


    Local police have been pushing for the cameras for years, citing concerns about the event becoming a potential target for terrorists. Police say the cameras will assist year-round in their investigations of crime.

    “If we have a crime, it will give us the capability of drawing either the license plate or a suspect and using that for a criminal investigation,” Anderson said.

    While past Midnight Madness sales have been largely free of major incidents, Anderson said that once a dispute over cutting in line turned into a shoving match.

    Similar sales around the country have sometimes been marred by violence, including in 2008 when a Walmart worker in New York state was trampled to death.

    “We’re looking forward to a very good year,” Anderson said. “We’re hoping that the crowds behave themselves like they have, and we hope everyone can get through it safely.”