Five arrested after up to 1,000 teens take over New Jersey mall
Police in New Jersey arrested five teens after an estimated 1,000 unaccompanied juveniles descended on Cherry Hill Mall following the Christmas holiday.
A witness sent video to Action News that sees the hoard of teens ambling about near the food court.
Residents and mall-goers in the area warned people to avoid the shopping center after spotting the massive group of minors, prompting widespread attention on the incident — particularly on social media.
Authorities Tuesday responded to area near JC Penny around 7:30 p.m. after someone reported the large group of unaccompanied youths.
Upon their arrival, authorities began to disperse the crowd and eventually arrested four juveniles from Camden and one from Cherry Hill, according to a press release from the Cherry Hill Police Department. Officers charged them with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
The incident comes days after the Cherry Hill Police Department took to Facebook to urge parents to join their children should they venture out to the mall following the holidays.
“The day after Christmas is one of the busiest shopping days of the season,” officers wrote. “Over the last few years, malls nationwide have seen an increase in the number of unattended juveniles that are dropped off at retail shopping centers creating disturbances and engaging in criminal behavior.”
Police continued on to say they wanted “everyone to have a safe shopping experience,” noting that while “the Cherry Hill Mall does not enforce a parental escort policy, there is code of conduct that must be adhered to and anyone acting inappropriate will be asked to leave.”
They added officers would be patrolling the parking lot and said “those engaged in criminal behavior will be arrested and prosecuted.”
Cherry Hill Police sad no injuries or property damages were reported in the Tuesday incident “due to the large police presence on location.”