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New Jersey Kidnapping Allegedly Foiled After Woman Mouths ‘Help Me’ To Stranger In Parking Lot
Travis Mann allegedly impersonated a police officer, approached an unidentified woman in a Clifton parking lot, told her she was "breaking the law," and forced her to withdraw cash from an ATM.
A woman who was allegedly abducted by a registered sex offender last week in Clifton, New Jersey was saved by police after she mouthed the words “help me” to a passerby in a parking lot.
The unidentified victim, who authorities said was sitting in her car with a man on Oct. 16, was approached by another male at around 11 p.m., WCBS-TV reported. The individual allegedly claimed to be a police officer, tapped on their window, and reprimanded them.
The man, later identified as Travis Mann, 39, allegedly told the two individuals that they were “breaking the law” by being “intimate” in the woman’s car in a public space, according to NorthJersey.com.
Mann, who is a registered sex offender, allegedly gave the impression he was armed, and talked the woman into driving him to a cash machine, police said. Mann’s suspected accomplice, Paul Dunlop, 45, then allegedly trailed the trio in a separate vehicle, according to the outlet.
The unidentified woman later pulled out cash from an ATM, police said. However, while in a parking lot near the cash machine, she managed to mouth the words, “help me” to a passerby. Clifton Police were tipped off, quickly arrived, and arrested Mann and Dunlop.
Authorities commended the tipster who reported the alleged abduction attempt.
“A smart victim, an alert witness, and a great job by our Patrol Division!!” Clifton Police Department said on Facebook following the arrests.
The two men were charged with kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, according to online jail records. Mann, who’s from Hewitt, New Jersey, also faces additional charges of impersonating a police officer and criminal coercion.
A spokesperson for the department wasn’t immediately available for comment on Wednesday.
Mann was arrested on similar kidnapping and auto theft charges in 2017, NorthJersey.com reported. In that case, the 39-year-old allegedly entered a student's vehicle in Wayne and forced the individual to drive to a cash machine and withdraw money, according to NJ.com. Police suspect Mann later used the money to purchase drugs, which he then used while in the presence of the victim, who he allegedly held hostage for roughly six hours.
In May, Mann was also confronted by police at a local 7-11 for allegedly flouting social distancing guidelines, shoplifting, and behaving belligerently, according to the New Jersey Attorney General. He was charged with violating the emergency orders related to the coronavirus outbreak after refusing to wear a mask, as well as defiant trespassing. Police also booked him on charges of failing to register as a sex offender.
Both Mann and Dunlop are being held without bail at a Passaic County jail, records show.