Her presence of mind may have just saved her life or at least prevented a car theft.
As reported in an article published by Opposing Views, 19-year-old Ashley Hardacre found a blue shirt on the windscreen of her car after finishing her shift at Michigan Mall in Flint on February 15, 2017.
Her first instinct was to get out of the car and remove it. But she was quickly reminded of her parents who had taught her to keep an eye on a few tactics used by kidnappers.
Some kidnappers would leave a piece of clothing or a newspaper in order to blindside the driver. When the driver decides comes out of the car, the criminal uses the opening to attack.
Hardacre noticed a couple of other cars in the parking lot that was very close to her. Both the cars were stationary but had their ignition running. She tried to remove the shirt from her view by using the windscreen wipers.
When that did not work, she realized that the shirt was wrapped intentionally around the windscreen. This made it clear for Hardacre that the shirt did not accidentally land on her car.
Instead of getting out of her car at the parking lot, Hardacre drove to a safer place, rolled down her windows and swiftly got rid of the shirt.
Ashely felt compelled to warn her friends and family and posted her experience on Facebook. Her post quickly went viral and was shared more than 100,000 times before it was removed.
'I'm so glad my parents had informed me that it was happening in our area, I just never thought it would potentially happen to my car.'
Ashley Hardacre, Daily Mail, February 22, 2017.
Brad Wangler, a sergeant at the local Police Department, noted that this was the first incident of its kind in the area and there had been no cases of criminals using a shirt to lure the drivers out.
However, he was glad Hardacre was sharp enough to observe a pattern and warn other citizens of Flint of the potential threat. Michigan ranks second in terms of the number of human trafficking cases in the country.
January 25, 2019