A 'gang' of Girl Scouts tries to invade new turf

October 24, 1991|By Los Angeles Daily News

LOS ANGELES 2 — LOS ANGELES -- Members of a suburban Van Nuys Girl Scout troop who showed up for a shopping trip at the Northridge Fashion Square were at first denied entry by security officials enforcing a policy designed to prevent gang violence.

Mall officials say the guards were just doing their jobs, but the leader of Troop 823 said yesterday that the scouts deserve an apology.

"The guard said a group with more than three people was a gang. I said 'Do we look like a gang? Look at these girls, we have adults here, they are clean cut and they have lots of supervision,' " said troop leader Lois Young.

The 25 scouts, ages 14 to 18, and six adult leaders visited the suburban mall Tuesday night on a shopping trip to buy presents to exchange within the troop.

A security guard eventually allowed the scouts to go shopping -- but only after they promised to be quiet and travel in groups of three and keep at least five feet apart, Young said.

Even so, she said, security officers trailed them the whole time.

"If we allow this group of Girl Scouts in without the process of seeking approval . . . how can we go up to [gang members] and tell them to follow the same policy?" said mall security chief John Peterson.

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