PARAMUS, N.J. -- Paramus police arrested a Clifton man who they said abducted people in separate incidents at local malls to get money -- and Red Bull.
Eddie J. Johnson, 27, was being held on $500,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail on kidnapping and robbery charges.
Johnson first approached a woman in the parking lot of Blink Fitness at the Outlets at Bergen Town Center on Feb. 15 and asked her for money, Deputy Police Chief Robert Guidetti said.
When she refused, he "forced the victim to drive him in her vehicle to an ATM to withdraw funds," Guidetti said.
"The victim purposely entered the wrong pin number into the ATM so she couldn’t withdraw the money," he said, so Johnson forced her to drive to the Pathmark in Elmwood Park.
There he made her buy $70 worth of Red Bull using her credit card before he ran off, the deputy chief said.
On Aug. 13, Johnson approached a man in the underground AMC lot located at the Garden State Plaza and asked for money, Guidetti said.
When the victim refused, Johnson forced him to drive him to Paterson, where he took $30 from the man’s wallet and his I-Phone before getting out and running off, the deputy chief said.
Johnson was back at the Garden State Plaza on Sept. 10, when he approached a man in the south parking lot and was denied a ride to the other side of the mall, Guidetti said.
He then got into the vehicle, pulled out a knife and forced the victim to drive to two different ATM locations, where he withdrew $60.
Johnson then brought him to the Elmwood Park Pathmark for Red Bull, but the victim's credit card was denied -- so he had him drive him to Paterson, Guidetti said.
After taking the man's cellphone, he fled on foot, the deputy chief said.
Paramus Criminal Investigation Detectives Dmitriy Mazur, Michael Cebulski and Norman Gin "worked for months attempting to identify [the robber]," Guidetti said.
On Sept. 11, with help from Fair Lawn police, they identified Johnson from a surveillance video.
Yesterday, Clifton police assisted Detective Dmitriy Mazur in arresting him without incident in their city.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.