PARAMUS, N.J. -- News that a robber abducted patrons in the parking lots of two Paramus malls in order to get money and Red Bull had some shoppers today calling for better security and others expressing surprise.
“I find it horrifying and scary,” said Pamela Nealy of New York City as she jammed large bags of purchases from the Garden State Plaza into the trunk of her SUV.
"It’s a safe neighborhood here," she said. "I don’t think it’s normally like this.”
“I always felt safe here,” said Joe Ferrera of Cliffside Park, who shops at GSP with his wife, Gladys. “This is scary.”
Fazlor Chowdhury of Hawthorne concurred: “I come here once a week. I’ve never seen anything bad.”
A Macy’s employee who declined to identify herself in fear of repercussions had a differing view.
She pointed to a corner of the lot near Best Buy, where she said an assault and attempted rape occurred.
“Some of these young girls who close and get out at 11 or 11:30 at night — there is no one around," she said. "We have to walk in groups to our cars.”
Some suggested more security personnel or cameras.
“This is one of the biggest malls around,” Nealy said, “so it’s going to attract a lot of people.”
Daily Voice broke the news this morning that Paramus detectives arrested a Clifton man yesterday following a trio of abduction-robberies, one outside Bergen Town Center and the others at GSP ( READ: Paramus Police: Robber Abducted Mall Shoppers For Cash, Red Bull ).
"Our victims were targeted because of their kindness," Deputy Police Chief Robert Guidetti told Daily Voice this afternoon. "They thought someone was in need and they were exploited and robbed."
In each case, he said, the victims were quickly taken away from the malls to other towns.
Uniformed and plainclothes officers continue to patrol outside and inside the malls with an eye toward various crimes -- including vehicle bump-and-run thefts, robberies, fraud and shoplifting, Guidetti said.
"We have a young, knowledgeable patrol division who are always on the lookout," he said. "That's where the majority of our arrests are made."
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