Police are telling New Jersey residents to be wary about setting up online arrangements to sell shoes -- particularly the pricey Air Jordan 3 Retros -- after a rash of robberies involving the sneakers.
Authorities say sneaker robberies have been reported in Bridgewater, Clifton and, most recently, Wyckoff.
In the most recent case, Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox says two 13-year-old boys had a pair of brand new Air Jordans they wanted to sell and arranged a meet with a buyer through Facebook.
The boys had planned to meet the buyer in the middle of the day at a shopping mall plaza, but received a text message from the buyer telling them to meet behind the stores. When the boys showed up, the buyer pulled out a knife, Fox said, grabbed the shoes and ran off.
Fox said parents should talk to their children about the recent crime trend.
"Thirteen-year-old boys should not be meeting strangers in parking lots to do cash transactions," Fox said.
The popular shoes have a starting price around $250 and go up from there, says Kevork Kiwanian, owner of Sneaker Stadium in Paterson. Kiwanian says he wasn't surprised to learn of the trend.
"They would do whatever it takes to get that shoe," he said. "Some of these sneakers are people's pay checks."