What Would You Do If You Witnessed a Break-In?

Editor's Note: The last name of each "What Would You Do?" participant was removed to protect his or her privacy.

It was an early spring afternoon in a suburban New Jersey park. Families, couples, runners and dog-walkers populated the area.

Attention was turned to a group of three white teenage boys walking toward a car — an older, well-kept model in an open parking lot. They laughed at the car's "vintage" appearance.

Zac vaulted up on the car's hood and Justin K. looked around, furtively eyeing passersby. Meanwhile, Sam pulled a Jimmy stick from his pants and began breaking into the car.

Watch the premiere of the series "Primetime: What Would You Do?" Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 10 p.m. ET


"There it is! There it is!" The driver's side door popped open and the boys piled in, looking for anything worth taking.

People passed by but paid little or no attention to the mischief-makers, until the boys pulled out cans of paint and began spraying graffiti on the car.

A couple of women who engaged in brief conversation with the boys later said they were actually far more concerned about their well-being than they let on during the exchange.

"They [the boys] started getting increasingly strident and jumping on [the car] and pounding on it," said Laurette. "Then we said, 'Let's get away from this and call the police.'"

'You Got an Illegal Tool There!'


Shortly after, another couple of women noticed the boys. The women spoke, but both walked away from the scene.

While Maggie acknowledged, "I should have done something," Mary, the other woman, said she was reluctant to get involved.

"There have been times when I've been a witness to things and had to take off work, and it has been really involved. I try to mind my own business," said Mary.

Later, another middle-aged woman who seemed troubled by the teen vandals stopped a safe distance away from them and pulled out her cell phone. Was she typing a text message or contacting police?

When a fit middle-aged man who had just finished a run wandered past the boys and asked what they were up to, the boys bluntly told him to mind his own business.

As the man walked away, one of the boys yelled, "Adios, have a nice day," just to goad him. In doing so, the boys called the man's attention back to them and the car, angering him and heightening the confrontation.

And then he saw their Jimmy stick. "You got an illegal tool there! The cops would love to know that," he warned them. "That's a jimmy. That's an illegal tool. It's a felony. I suggest you pick it up and move on."

"We're not going nowhere," said Justin K., defiantly.

With that, the man walked off, and asked the woman with a cell phone to dial 911.

At that moment ABC News correspondent John Quinones jumped in, but the man, Brian, was pretty steamed at both the boys and at the "What Would You Do?" crew. When he finally cooled off, Brian and his wife, Dawn, stopped for a chat.

"I was keeping my eye on them. I was waiting for my husband to come back because I wasn't going to confront three boys by myself," Dawn told us.

Brian said he got involved because of a lesson his father taught him.

"You can't turn a blind eye or a deaf ear if somebody's in trouble," he said. "It wasn't [my property] but, you know, it was somebody's. We're all in this together."

Moments later, Brian and the actors exchanged apologies and handshakes.

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