If you don't listen to anything I ever say, listen to this.
I received a phone call from my oldest daughter this evening.
Jessie: Where are You!
Me: At TJ Maxx why?
Jessie: Well that would have been good to know seeing, as I just almost got kidnapped!
So now I am thoroughly freaking out in my head, trying to stay calm on the phone in the middle of TJ Maxx.
Apparently she was shopping at our local Books-A-Million between classes, and she noticed this strange guy following her around the store. She said that when she would go down an aisle, she would look up and he would be staring at her from the other aisle. She would move to another aisle and he would follow. She had tried to call me, but my phone went straight to voice mail (stupid phone), so she called her boyfriend. He told her to check out and when she does ask them to watch her go to her car. At this point she said she did not see him anymore. When she checked out, she asked them to watch her go to her car, they said they would. She walked out the door and he was standing right outside the door. She ran to her car and locked the door and left.
This has really freaked me out tonight. I immediately left TJ Maxx and went to Books-A-Million. I told the people at the front again what happened. They were a bit shocked and called the manager. As I was explaining this to them, someone behind me said there was a strange man walking around in the parking lot. When I left the store, there was a homeless man sitting outside the door and another man walking in the parking lot.
Now this is not an extremely bad part of town. There is a Toys R Us, HomeDepot, Costco, Starbucks, and Zaxby's all within spitting distance.
What to do??? I went directly from there to a local sporting goods store and bought mace!!! Logan said to get her a Taser, but I don't think that is legal. (Is it?)
Have I said that this freaked me out a bit? I have been followed in a store before, but that was me, not my child. My insides just feel like Jell-O.
I am telling you this to remind you that there are weirdos and freaks out there. Take care of yourself and those with you. Pay attention to your surroundings getting in and out of your car. Pay attention to strange people following you in a store. Do not be afraid to ask for help to your car.
I found this article when I was searching for safety tips.
Protect yourself from would-be assailants by being
equipped with the greatest weapon of all: knowledge
by Jessica Howell
"It doesn’t just happen in the movies,” warns Richard Hart’s book 139 Ways to Prevent Sexual Assault of the dangers of parking lot abductions. In fact, the common preoccupations of women (chatting on a cell phone, searching for the car in a crowded mall parking lot) are habits that assailants seek out in a victim, making it easier to startle or catch them off guard.
While constantly being aware of your surroundings seems an obvious rule of thumb when in a parking lot, it’s often ignored in the hustle of daily errands.
To help refresh your safety skills and shed light on predator tactics, Hart offers the following tips to women:
- Don’t approach your vehicle if a van or other large vehicle with tinted windows is parked next to it. Find a security guard to walk you to your car; they are paid to do so. If a security guard isn’t available, look for a nearby couple walking to their car and say something like, “That vehicle wasn’t there when I parked. Would you mind making sure I get into my car safely?” Most people would be happy to lend a moment and ensure your safety.
- Walk with purpose. Multiple studies have shown that a quick, purposeful walk sends subconscious signals to predators that you are not an easy mark. They typically decide to wait for another victim.
- Keep one hand free at all times. This at least gives you the opportunity to attempt to fend-off a would-be attacker.
- Have your key ready to open the car door. Never stand next to your car searching through your purse. Robbers, car-jackers and sexual predators all watch for this type of distraction.
- Once in your car, lock the doors immediately. This is the time that a bystander could quickly and simply open a car door and let himself in, a frequent tactic since it doesn’t attract a lot of attention from passersby.
- Get moving. Don’t sit inside of your vehicle adjusting the stereo, rummaging through shopping bags or your purse, or talking on your phone, especially if the lot is not well populated. Instead, drive to a well-lit area and stop the car (but leave it running) and then search for the item, make a phone call, etc.
- If you have an unlocking button or keyless entry system, make sure you unlock only the driver door. Most keyless systems let you unlock either the driver door or use two punches to unlock all doors. Unlocking all doors allows a predator to simply slide into your car from the passenger side and do whatever he wants.
- Make sure that your dome light is always functioning properly. As you unlock your vehicle at night, glance into the back seat and make sure that an attacker has not gained access to your car.
- Lastly, never approach your vehicle if a single male is loitering anywhere near it. Period.
You can read more on this article here.
I just praise God that He was with her and kept her safe. Thank You God!