A Flint, Michigan teen knew something was wrong when she got out of her job at a local mall. She found a flannel t-shirt was wrapped around her windshield wipers with two cars idling next to hers. Now, she is warning others of a potentially dangerous threat.
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Ashley Hardacre was leaving a mall she worked at late a night after they closed. As she and her co-worker approached their cars Hardacre noticed there was something on hers. Once she got close enough to see that it was a shirt, she noticed there were two other cars hovering around her vehicle.
Fill with suspicion, the 19-year-old jumped in her car and drove to a well-lit area away from the scene to take the shirt off by reaching from her window. The shirt, she said was “completely wrapped around my wiper blade.” Using the windshield wipers would push it off.
The mall employee put her experience on Facebook in the hopes of making others aware that this might have been a ploy by potential kidnappers trying to lure people from their cars at night. The post has been shared over 95,000 times and continues to grow.
“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,” Hardacre said.
Since she seen some Facebook posts from various people in the local area and discussed with her parents this new “method” kidnappers were using, she knew it would be dangerous to try to remove the shirt there. She knew, instead, to get to a well-lit area and handle it then.
She concluded her Facebook post with: “I’m so glad my parents had informed me that it was happening in our area, I just never thought it would potentially happen to my car.”
In an interview with ABC 12, Hardacre expressed her fear of the matter, but now is more focused on helping others by informing them. “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.”
Kidnappings in Michigan, especially in Flint, is not uncommon. They rank second in human trafficking because of the proximity to the Canadian border and waterways, according to NHTF. Because Hardacre was aware and cautious, she probably saved her own life. Other young women need to do the same.