Police warn to be on lookout after suspicious parking lot report - WNEM TV 5

Police warn to be on lookout after suspicious parking lot reports

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Is there a parking lot stalker on the loose in Mid-Michigan?

That's what police are trying to figure out after a scary situation at a local Meijer store.

A local woman took to Facebook to warn others about a strange man who tied a white rag to her windshield wiper and then asked for cash when it was removed.

"It was broad daylight, nice sunny day. I was just going to pick up a few things and grab some Girl Scout cookies," said Amber Lackowski, shopper.

She was supposed to leave the store with a few groceries, but left frightened and concerned.

About 11:30 a.m. on Monday she was walking to her car with her 10-month-old baby in the parking lot of the Birch Run Meijer. That's when her friend Luke, who she was shopping with, noticed a white pillowcase was tied to the windshield wiper of her car. Seconds later an unknown man approached them.

"As Luke took the rag off my vehicle the man took the rag away from him and asked him why he was taking it off my vehicle and then proceeded to ask him for money to get back to Midland," Lackowski said.

Birch Run police said she is not alone in her bizarre shopping experience. They said over the past week they have received at least three other calls about shoppers returning to their car with something on the windshield. Unlike Lackowski, they never saw a suspect.

"All strange, all coincidental maybe. But the biggest thing is that we're concerned that somebody is doing something to distract people. Now whether they are going it because they are trying to approach them or whether they are just looking to get a reaction, we don't know," Police Chief Al Swearengin said.

He said shoppers need to be on alert and check their surroundings, especially when they are shopping alone.

"You really, really, really need to be cognizant of all that is going on around you when you walk out to your car, especially females at any time," Swearengin said.

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