Teens robbed by fake mall security guards

January 23, 2008 3:35:28 PM PST
There is a warning Wednesday about what could be a new scam targeting teenagers. A 16-year-old boy was robbed at the Newport Center Mall in Jersey City by two men posing as plainclothes security officers.

Eyewitness News reporter Anthony Johnson has more on what happened.

Police have released surveillance video of the two suspects and some of their young victims as they are preparing to exit the premesis. According to the cops, a man in a brown jacket stopped two teens, claiming to be an undercover security officer. He then ordered them out of the Newport Mall.

One of the victims followed the directions, and once outside the J.C. Penny's, he was reportedly robbed of $210.

It's a crime against innocent teens, but many say they are not surprised.

"This is Jersey City," one shopper said. "people do stuff like that every day."

So far, the suspects have been involved in two separate incidents. The first was January 13 and the other the 21. In the latest crime, police say one of the suspects pulled a knife and stole $67 from the victim.

"I guarantee they won't go to all the bad parts of Jersey City and try that," another shopper said. "They gonna come over here."

According to cops, the man in the brown jacket has some defining features, including shoulder-length dreadlocks, a scar on his right cheek and a crossed right eye.

Both suspects are believed to be in their mid to late 20s.

"Neither of the individuals has yet to be identified, but we're pretty optimistic that we're going to be able to identify them," a police official said. "We're working on different leads there."

There are a few things officials say you should note about mall security. They are wear uniforms and carry identification. Also, if you are stopped, the Jersey City police department should be called immediately.