Regardless of who you are, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings when alone at night. A young lady in Michigan knew this and was on high alert when she saw a shirt tied to her car windshield wiper, thinking it was a kidnapping attempt.
In February, Ashley Hardacre, 19, who works at the Genesee Valley Mall in Flint, had just finished a night shift when she saw a shirt wrapped around her windshield wiper after she got into her car. She looked around and saw two cars nearby, making her highly suspicious. She thought it was a kidnapping attempt and drove to a safe place to remove the shirt.
Hardacre later took to Facebook to share her creepy experience, primarily to warn others to be careful. In her Facebook post, which is no longer available, she recounted, “I got to my car and locked the doors behind me immediately as I always do and noticed that there was a blue flannel shirt on my windshield.”
She saw two cars nearby and felt uneasy.
“I used my windshield wipers to try to get them off but the shirt was completely wrapped around my wiper blade. I had seen posts lately about people finding things under their windshield wipers in the Burton/Flint area as an attempt to get girls out of their cars and distracted,” she continued.
“I don’t know why the shirt was on my car but it had to have been intentional the way it was put on there. I really can’t think of another reason as to why someone would put it on my car,” she added.
Speaking to ABC12, Hardacre said: “It is something that you never expect that would ever happen to you or someone would ever try to harm you in any way, but I was just so shocked. And now, I’m kind of passed the scared, I’m more of—I want other people to know that it is, you know, something that can happen to them.”
After Hardacre’s post went viral, Flint Township Police Detective Sergeant Brad Wangler contacted her and investigated the surveillance footage from the mall.
“Nothing like this has ever happened before. There have been no other incidences like this. It’s kind of unknown as to what or why or who [did this],” Wangler told CBS News.
Police later contacted two men who were seen wrapping the shirt on Hardacre’s car. Fox 26 reported that the men said it was a harmless prank and they did not know that leaving items on women’s windshields could be seen as a human trafficking ploy. The police accepted their story and are not naming them since no crime was committed, adding that the men who tied the flannel shirt to Hardacre’s windshield wiper had left the parking lot more than an hour before Hardacre got to her car.
Regardless of whether the incident was a bizarre prank or not, Hardacre did the right thing to maintain her cautiousness.