Westfield Fountain Gate has been under siege by hordes of teens.
Business owners have gone public after a spate of thefts and violent attacks.
Groups of up to a dozen teens have been swarming the stores, steaking products and destroying property.
“They literally went through and flipped up all the tables and chairs and I was too scared to do anything as we were afraid of what will happen,” one cafe owner told the Leader.
Another mother said her 14-year-old son was targeted.
“One of his friends was asked by the gang to hand over his jacket or he’d be stabbed. The boys were then told they would be bashed if they didn’t hand over all of their cash,” she said.
“This has really become Melbourne’s most unsafe centre and security need to do more to protect shoppers.”
A social media poll said 74 per cent of shoppers were so intimidated by the violence it had kept them from going.