Imagine you are sitting in your vehicle at a Walmart parking lot and suddenly, two men pull up their car directly in front of you with their high beams on. The glaring headlights blind you, and just when you struggle to open your eyes, the two men jump out of their car, trying to pry open your doors. Faced with such a horrifying situation, what would you do? Would you get out of your car or calmly drive away?
A Rock Hill, South Carolina, woman, who wants to remain anonymous, encountered exactly the same incident at the Newport Walmart parking lot near the holiday season in 2017.
“Someone turned on their high beams and she looked up and she can’t really see anything,” the woman’s friend told NBC Charlotte. “And then of a sudden, she heard two men on both sides of her car, the passenger and the driver side. As she was pulling away they were still trying to get in her car they were wearing hoodies and they had the hoodie part down past their eyes.”
Fortunately, her car doors were locked. However, the woman was shaken with fear. Apparently, she was so terrified that she sped off and left the state to be with her family according to WTHR.
“Who knows what would’ve happened if they had gotten her car and she didn’t lock the doors?” the woman’s friend said. “It was just too close to home and I wanted people to be aware.”
To warn others, the woman’s friend took to Facebook to share this story. It went viral, with some people considering it a hoax. The post also eventually caught the attention of Rock Hill South Carolina Police Department. Concerned, the officers decided to track down the woman who posted the story to determine the validity of the incident.
“We’ve noticed a facebook post starting with something similar to ‘be careful in parking lots especially walmart….Newport Walmart….car parked directly in front of her turned the high beams on…’. It has been shared numerous times, if you originated this post, please call us to speak with an officer,” the department wrote in a Facebook post. “May be a missing piece to a crime pattern. Thank you.”
We've noticed a facebook post starting with something similar to "be careful in parking lots especially…
The officers then found the woman who posted the viral Facebook post, and after investigation, they confirmed the story to be legitimate.
“We have confirmed that the incident described above actually happened,” the department updated. “The individual who responded to our post – created her post as a warning to others to be careful in shopping areas not only at Christmas Time, but all year round. Her co-worker was the one who had this incident happen to her.”
“I have spoken with the posting individual by phone and we will get with Walmart and try to determine if we can identify the car,” someone from the department further added.
It turned out the woman’s friend did not call 911 at that time, RHPD’s public information officer Mark Bollinger told the news outlet.
“It could’ve been someone trying to entice her to get out of the car,” Bollinger said.
As to what one should do while facing such an incident, Bollinger shared: “Stay in your car and call us or leave that spot. If the car starts to follow you, go to the nearest police agency.”
Bollinger advised the public to avoid sitting in their cars alone, especially when they are distracted, and particularly during the holiday season. “If you ever feel like you’re in an unsafe situation, don’t think you’re bothering us. That’s what we’re here for, we’re here to help,” he said.
One should try to be aware of their surroundings. If you sense anything suspicious and feel that someone is trying to lure you out of your vehicle, call 911 immediately.
Have you ever encountered such an incident? Please share this story to warn others of this burglary tactic using high beams.
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