Police: Be aware of surroundings in parking lots

Jonesboro police encourage people to call them when this incidents happen. (Source: KAIT)
Jonesboro police encourage people to call them when this incidents happen. (Source: KAIT)
Police urge people to be aware of their surroundings in parking lots. (Source: KAIT)
Police urge people to be aware of their surroundings in parking lots. (Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - There have been posts describing scary encounters with strangers in local parking lots shared hundreds of times on Facebook recently.

Many of them come from women who had children with them at the time.

While those posts have garnered a lot of attention, Jonesboro Police Department Sergeant Lyle Waterworth said he could not find a record of any calls to police about these incidents.

"A lot of times what happens is that people will talk to the store manager or maybe ask the store manager to walk them out or maybe just tell the store about it," Waterworth said.

He agreed that it is hard to know someone's intentions when they are trying to stop and talk to you, so citizens do need to be aware of their surroundings.

"Look up, look around, keep your eyes open for things going on in the parking lot," Waterworth said. "Get to the car. If you have kids with you, you're not going to help change a flat tire with your kids out. You're going to get your kids to a safe spot to help the person that may be coming up to talk to you. Keep your phone in your hand."

Waterworth said if a stranger comes to your car window, just crack it and speak to them through there if you feel uneasy.

He suggests that you trust your instincts.

"If your gut tells you something is wrong, there's a strong possibility something is wrong," Waterworth said.

He also reminds people that you can always call police if you want an escort to your car or home or if you are in an uncomfortable situation.

It is still a good idea to report the incident afterward as well, so police can keep an eye on any area where an incident happens.

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