Ashley Hardacre, 19, returned to her car after a late-night shift to find a shirt tied to one of its windscreen wipers, an attempt she says was made by would-be kidnappers to force her to exit her car.
On February 15, Hardacre worked the late-night shift at a shopping centre in Flint, Michigan, in the US.
As always, after working the late shift, her and her co-workers walked with each other to the darkened, near-abandoned parking lot.
Hardacre hopped in her car and locked the doors straight away.
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She noticed a shirt on her windshield. She thought it might have been left there accidentally, but when she moved her windscreen wipers to clear her windscreen, she saw it was purposefully wrapped around one of the wiper blades.
“There were two cars near me and one was running so I immediately felt uneasy and knew I couldn’t get out to get it off,” she wrote on Facebook after the incident.
“I had seen posts lately about people finding things under their windshield wipers in the Flint area as an attempt to get girls out of their cars and distracted.”
She said she drove out of the parking spot, to a safer place, and reached through the window to undo the shirt.
“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,” her Facebook post reads.
“It definitely frightened me a little bit. 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.”
From now on, Hardacre says, she will ask the mall’s security to walk her to her car after late-night shifts.
Her post on Facebook has been shared more than 100,000 times.
It has received thousands of comments from people thanking her for raising awareness; from people from other towns who’ve heard of the same thing happening and resulting in dangerous situations; and, most of all, from people thankful she is safe.
Local police are now investigating, however a detective told CBS “Nothing like this has ever happened before (in our area) … It’s kind of unknown as to what or why or who (did this).”