With holiday shopping in full swing, there are more shoppers hitting up stores and malls. Rock Hill, South Carolina police have warned residents to watch out for a new way that criminals are attacking unsuspecting victims — and it involves using their car’s high beams.
A Rock Hill resident told KREM that she experienced the criminal act in a Walmart parking lot, as a car pulled in front of her and put on its high beams. She recalled the scary incident, in which, blinded by the lights shining at her, the thieves exited their car and came to open her doors.
Since she had locked her car doors, their attempt was thwarted and she was able to drive away, but it was certainly a frightening turn of events.
A friend of the woman wrote about it on Facebook and the police investigated it after first believing it was a hoax. Turns out, it’s a very real tactic that criminals use.
The Rock Hill Police Departement posted the following on Facebook:
“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. I cannot find a call to 9-1-1 during that time (Sunday 12/10 around 6:30pm) for anything similar to this. The person may have called later about it? We want to make sure if there is more to investigate we can do that. We’ve noticed more and more crimes being reported on Nextdoor, HOA websites and facebook, make sure we know about it as well. May be a missing piece to a crime pattern. Thank you.”
The victim’s friend explained in an interview:
“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. It was just too close to home, and I just wanted people to be aware.”
Mark Bollinger of the Rock Hill Police Department told KREM that any incidents like this should be reported and not just written about on social media, explaining:
“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.”
The Police Department later followed up with this update to their Facebook post:
“We have confirmed that the incident described above actually happened, but the victim did not want to report it to law enforcement. 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.”
Read more: AWM