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Source: Shutterstock

Woman Briefly Steps Away from Cart with Little Daughter inside at Costco, Stranger Steals the Cart

Rita Kumar
Mar 05, 2022
05:00 A.M.
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A little girl was sitting alone in a shopping trolley while her mom was busy shopping. Minutes later, she sensed the cart move and thought her mom was pushing it. 

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A woman reminisced about a childhood nightmare at a big-box retail store on Reddit's "Let's Not Meet" forum where random strangers online bring to light some of the most horrific incidents that still sent chill up their spine.

Posting under myrtlewils0n on Reddit, the woman who is now married said she never wanted to meet the stranger who claimed to be her mother while nobody noticed in the busy store.

The mom briefly stepped away from the cart leaving her little daughter all alone | Source: Shutterstock

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The Original Poster (OP) said she was 4 or 5 at the time. OP asserted she wasn't a very fidgety kid and would usually keep to herself whenever out shopping with her mom. So, that day, OP and her mom had been out at Costco shopping for groceries.

OP's mom had the habit of pulling up her shopping cart on one corner of the aisle and walking to and from the shelves to add the items to the cart. OP said it was weird, and even on that fateful day, the mother did the same thing.

She had placed OP in the baby seat of the grocery cart, and as she rummaged through the shelves, the fruit display in the farthest corner attracted her. She told OP to stay tight and went over to check the deals, leaving her daughter occupied alone with her handheld gaming console.

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OP's mom put her in the shopping cart & asked her to stay tight while she shopped in the other aisle | Source: Pexels

A couple of minutes ticked by, but OP's mom was nowhere in sight. Meanwhile, OP was absorbed into the game and didn't heed what was happening around her. Just then, the little girl realized the cart was being pushed from behind.

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OP was clueless about why the woman had targeted her.

OP trusted her instincts and thought her mother was behind her. A few moments later, she noticed the hands with red painted nails clutching the trolley. OP realized her mom never painted nails or at least never wore them too long and anxiously looked up. The woman wasn't her mom.

The girl realized the woman who pushed the cart wasn't her mom | Source: Pexels

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OP observed the lady's features. She looked older and skinny and smelled of foul body odor. As she carted the shopping trolley faster, OP frantically screamed: "This is not my mom."

"Oh, sweetie! What game are you playing?" the woman asked OP, looking dead in her eyes. "I am your mom." OP was terrified and looked as far as her eyes could see. Moments later, she spotted her mother a few aisles farther and shrieked, "MOM."

The woman panicked and tried to cover OP's mouth. Amid the crowd of busy shoppers, the mom recognized her daughter's voice and looked around. She hurried to the spot across the displays while the woman was in a rush for cover.

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OP was terrified when she realized the woman was not her mom | Source: Pexels

The stranger fled the spot leaving OP alone in the cart. The mom was petrified, and her questions scared OP, who thought she was in trouble for screaming in the store. OP cried, and by the time her mom comforted her, the mysterious lady had already escaped.

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Later, the store's head of security intervened after OP's mom reported the woman. Unfortunately, they never found her inside, and the camera footage revealed her exit alone. OP was clueless about why the woman had targeted her and was glad she was safe with her mom.

After reading through her plight, people online asked OP if her mom filed a report with the cops. "These stories always terrify me. People are pretty [expletive] to just take a child in the middle of a public area...Did your mom ever file a police report?" Redditor ashleylibby asked OP.

People online asked OP if her mom filed a police complaint | Source: Unsplash

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However, OP said her mom didn't file a report due to the lack of evidence. "There wasn't really anything to go off of because there wasn't a clear picture of the lady on the store's camera," she proclaimed, adding:

"...and all they had to go off of was the kind of description of a five-year-old who couldn't answer things like height, weight, build, etc."

"It's amazing that you had the ability to quickly call out to your mom even when super young and didn't get afraid super quickly! I am glad that you were alright!" recounted Redditor LemonMIntCat.

OP's mom never filed a complaint due to lack of evidence & clarity about the alleged woman | Source: Pexels

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As for the woman, OP said she'd never seen her in person or through any reports on media outlets like TV and newspaper. But she said she was glad she never ran into the mysterious woman again.

"So, to the lady who tried to kidnap me from the Costco produce section, claiming to be my mother, let's not meet again," OP concluded.

Even years after the horrifying incident, OP was glad she never met the mysterious woman again | Source: Pexels

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Questions to Ponder:

What would you advise parents on child safety, especially when out with their kids in public?

OP said her mom used to pull up the shopping cart to one side of the aisle, shop for the things, and walk to the cart each time to add the items. She often left OP alone in the front baby seat, assuming she would be safe. Do you think the mom needed to be a bit more alert and not leave her child alone unattended even though it was a regularly visited store? What would you advise parents who leave their kids alone in public places?

Do you think OP's mom could've reported the woman?

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OP said her mom didn't file a police report on the mysterious woman who tried to abduct her due to lack of evidence. If you were the mother, would you have reported the incident to save another child from being abducted?

If you liked this story, here's a similar nightmare a mother encountered when she checked the security footage in Walmart while searching for her missing baby.

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