Police: Shirt on car was harmless prank - WNEM TV 5

Police: Shirt on car was harmless prank

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

After finishing a late shift at a local mall a young woman returned to her car and noticed something odd, a flannel shirt draped across her windshield.

It appeared to be an innocent, yet strange incident, but it could have had a malicious purpose - a shirt or other object could be placed on a windshield with the intent to get you out of your vehicle and distract you.

"When I got to my car I got in my car, locked the doors and I saw a flannel on my windshield," Ashley Hardacre said.

Hardacre helped close down the store she works at in the Genesee Valley Mall last week and headed out towards her car with several coworkers. When she got there she found the shirt on her windshield and there was a car running nearby.

After her wipers couldn't get the shirt off she decided to not even get out of her car.

"I drove around the building to get to a safer place because my mom had told me about human trafficking and how this was something they could actually use to lure you in," Hardacre said.

The part that concerned her the most is that someone actually took the time to unbutton the flannel and tie it on her windshield wiper.

"I knew it had to be at least some kind of intentional, what intentions I did not know," Hardacre said.

Hardacre said she filed a report with mall security and they informed police. She said police were reviewing security footage for clues.

She said she is not taking any chances.

"I actually have security walk me out now, which I wish I would have done in the first place," Hardacre said.

The University of Michigan-Flint student wanted her peers to be extra cautious as well.

"I'm just hoping I can raise awareness that this can happen and even if there wasn't an intention to do something to me it can still happen to others," Hardacre said.

Flint Township police said they interviewed two males in regards to the incident. They told police it was a random prank and had no malicious intent.

Surveillance footage at the mall confirmed the men were at the mall that day.

The males told police they didn't know putting an item on a vehicle could be construed as a human trafficking tactic.

Surveillance footage also shows the men leaving the parking lot more than one hour before the woman approached her vehicle, police said.

The men offered their apologies to the woman for causing her to feel scared that night.

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