New mall ID crackdown goes into effect

July 11, 2008 3:21:13 PM PDT
Getting carded, at the mall. It's a new policy that went into Friday night at a Delaware shopping center. Now on Friday and Saturday nights at the Christiana Mall, you'll have to show you I-D to get in, and no one under 18 is allowed without an adult.

"Are you serious?" asked 15-year old Jasmine Barkley.

Mall officials are very serious.

Roving teens, often called mall rats, have become such a problem here on weekend nights, security has been beefed up, and the new policy requiring adults to escort teens has been put into place.

"We'll have security officers on the doors and they will start checking ID's, and if you're coming in to shop, fine. If you're not, we'll ask you to come back at another time," said mall manager Steve Chambliss.

And if security guards ask, young shoppers will have to prove they're 18 or older.

As for how shoppers feel, that appears to depend on whether you're an adult or not.

"I don't like it. We come to the mall to hang out and we don't want to have our parents here," said 14-year old Da'near'a Henry.

"I agree with the policy. I for one am not one to allow my children to come to the mall by themselves. I always take them. Even though they try to make me stay home I don't do it," said Detra Williams of Newark, Del.

Off camera, many merchants welcome the change, but this jeweler, and father of a teen, gives it mixed reviews.

"It's a Catch-22. We want to do business here in the mall but at the same time those kids are also going to be future shoppers for us too. So we don't want them to be mad at the mall," said Charles Bernardi of Janvier Jewelers.

On a typical Friday night upwards to 2 thousand teens would show up here. Now if they do, they better bring mom or dad or they'll have to go back home.