Teen’s kind favor lands him in hot water at St. Louis mall

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by Lauren Trager / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on January 7, 2014 at 11:21 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 8 at 7:49 AM

(KMOV) -- A teenage boy told News 4 he was falsely accused after he was caught up in a scam as he attempted to do someone a favor.

“I was just thinking I was doing something nice for the holidays give him money and go about my business,” said 18 year-old Lerenzo Reyes.

 Reyes said he was just outside the Galleria Mall’s Macy's store on December 14 when he was approached by a man asking for help.

 “He was like, ‘can you do me a favor,’ he was like ‘I don't have my ID, I need you to return this vacuum for me, please’ and I was okay, so I followed him up to the service counter,” Reyes said.

 Reyes said he gave the clerk all of his personal information---the vacuum was already there at the counter.

 “Did you ever touch the vacuum in anyway? asked News 4 Reporter Lauren Trager. “No ma’am, never, never,” Reyes said.

 Reyes walked out with a gift card for $300 and was trying to give it to the man, when he  was hauled away by security and charged with theft.

 Richmond Heights Police didn't respond to News 4’s request for an interview, but they did share a copy of the report, which said a black man was seen with the vacuum. Reyes identifies as Latino.

 “He's being falsely accused,” said his father Benito Reyes.

 Reyes' father said the surveillance video will prove his son's innocence, but Macy’s has refused to let them see it.

 A spokesperson for the store chain told News 4 they wouldn't comment on this case or any of their loss prevention policies.

 The Reyes say they plan to fight it in court. Lorenzo Reyes has no criminal record and plans to go into the National Guard.

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