A teenage driver from Flint, Michigan, became a viral sensation this past week after she found a shirt tangled in her windshield wiper. She wrote online that she believes that it was an attempt to lure her out of her car.
Ashley Hardacre, 19, was leaving her job at a mall near Flint when she discovered that a stranger’s shirt was wrapped around one of her windshield blades.
Like the mom who opened her front door and found a rubber band wrapped around the handle, Hardacre felt right away like there was something fishy about the unfamiliar piece of clothing.
It didn’t seem likely that the fabric had just blown onto her car; it was deliberately wrapped around her windshield wiper. Fortunately, Hardacre trusted her gut.
Instead of getting out of the car, she immediately drove away with the cloth still on her wiper, then found a safe place to pull over and remove it. Hardacre got home and explained what happened to her mother.
Together, the two women concluded that the teen was right to trust her gut instinct. They suspect that the shirt was a trap.
Ashley Hardacre, a 19-year-old who lives and works in the Flint, Michigan, area, posted to Facebook in mid-February 2017 about a scary incident she had on her way home from a night shift working at the mall.
The post has since been removed from Facebook, but when it first went up, it immediately became a sensation.
It was shared more than 95,000 times by concerned citizens trying to warn friends and family about the dangers of finding a shirt or other piece of fabric attached to a windshield.
In the post, Ashley writes:
As some of you know I work at a store in the mall out in Flint.
I worked a closing shift tonight so me and the girls I work with always walk out together to make sure we are safe in the parking lot.
I got to my car and lock the doors behind me immediately as I always do.
[Then I] noticed there was a blue flannel shirt on my windshield.
There were two cars near me and one was running so I immediately felt uneasy and knew I could get out to get it off.
At first I thought maybe someone had just thrown it on my car for some odd reason.
I used my windshield wipers to try to get them off, but the shirt was completely wrapped around my wiper blade.
I had seen posts lately about people finding things under their windshield wipers in the Burton/Flint area as an attempt to get girls out of their cars and distracted.
Luckily I knew better than to remove to 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.
I don’t know why the shirt was on my car but it had to have been intentional the way it was put on there.
I really can’t think of another reason as to why someone would put it on my car.
Tomorrow I am informing security of the situation and making them walk me to my car from now on. It definitely frightened me a little bit.
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.
For their part, local police forces are investigating Ashley’s claims carefully.
Though Ashley had heard rumors of similar ploys being used to lure girls out of cars, the local police stated to the press that they aren’t familiar with any such crimes in the area, saying: “Nothing like this has ever happened before. There have been no other incidences like this. It’s kind of unknown as to what or why or who [did this].”
No matter what, it’s a good idea to always be careful about strange objects left on or near your car, and to remember not to exit the car if someone is potentially trying to lure you out.
If you want more drivers to learn to recognize a potential trap, be sure to SHARE Ashley’s important warning.
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