It is an unfortunate fact of life that we live in a dangerous world with some really bad people, some of whom derive enjoyment from doing evil things to innocent people.
A young woman in Michigan recently had something happen to her that raised her suspicion that she had been targeted for some sort of crime, which prompted her to post about the incident on social media in order to warn others to watch out for a similar thing happening to them.
Ashley Hardacre, a college student in Flint, Michigan, posted to Facebook (in a post that has since been removed or made private) about how after leaving work at a mall late one night, she discovered a flannel shirt wrapped around her windshield wipers, covering most of the windshield on her car. Fearing the shirt may have been a setup to put her in a vulnerable position while she removed it, she instead drove to a more secure location before getting the shirt unraveled from the wipers.
After the post went viral, CBS News picked it up as a sort of public service announcement, since similar incidents of items being left on windshields have in the past resulted in men and women being tricked out of their vehicles in dark parking lots, only to expose themselves to criminals hiding nearby who use the opportunity to assault, carjack, murder, rob, or even kidnap and rape the distracted victim.
“I posted about the incident to inform others that it can happen to anyone and that they shouldn’t fall for it,” Hardacre said. “A lot of people think it is fake or it won’t happen to them. But you can never be too safe.”
After Hardacre’s post went viral, she was contacted by Flint Township Police Detective Sgt. Brad Wangler, who revealed that his department is now investigating the incident in coordination with mall security. It is hoped that surveillance cameras in the parking lot will reveal who left the shirt on the woman’s windshield.
“Nothing like this has ever happened before,” Wangler told CBS. “There have been no other incidences like this. It’s kind of unknown as to what or why or who (did this).”
Wangler suggested that people always remain “vigilant” regarding the surroundings and anything that might be out of the ordinary, and immediately contact the police if they find themselves in a situation similar to Hardacre’s.
“If something doesn’t seem right, or the hairs on the back of your neck stand up,” Wangler said. “But by all means, we need to know about this stuff when it happened.”
Though Wangler may not have personally seen any incidents like this in Flint previously, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened there, or anywhere else for that matter, as there have been similar reports of similar tactics being used by criminals to target unsuspecting victims for years.
We thank Hardacre for sharing her experience, and we echo her warning to others, as well as Wangler’s warning, to always stay vigilant and on the lookout for those who would take advantage.
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