A 19-year-old woman's warning to others after she found a shirt laid over her windshield in Flint, Michigan, last Thursday has been shared widely on Facebook, and the post even caught the eye of local police.
Ashley Hardacre had just finished working a closing shift at the Genesee Valley Mall and walked across the dark parking lot to her vehicle. She quickly got in and immediately locked the door behind her, but after she did, she found a blue flannel shirt thrown over her windshield and tucked underneath a windshield wiper.
Something did not feel right about the situation, she wrote.
“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,” Hardacre explained on Facebook. “Luckily, I knew better than to remove the shirt with cars around me so I drove over to a place where I was safe and quickly rolled down my window and got the shirt off.”
Hardacre told CBS News that her mother had warned her of people in the area trying to trick women into leaving their cars in the dark, and said, "A lot of people think it is fake or it won't happen to them. But you can never be too safe."
Hardacre said she posted the photo on Facebook to warn others, adding that "it can happen to anyone."
As of Wednesday morning, the post has been shared more than 100,000 times.
Flint Township Police Department Detective Sgt. Brad Wangler told CBS News that he got in touch with the 19-year-old after seeing her Facebook post. Investigators are looking at surveillance video of the parking lot to see who left the shirt on Hardacre's windshield.
While Wangler said there haven't been similar incidents, he urged residents to be "vigilant" and recommended that anyone who sees observes something unusual should call 911 immediately.
“If something doesn’t seem right, or the hairs on the back of your neck stand up,” he told CBS News. “But by all means, we need to know about this stuff when it happened.”
Hardacre wrote that she was grateful to her mother for telling her about the potential danger, and, just to be safe, the 19-year-old will ask security to escort her at night after work in the future.