Four different local women have written about scary situations while out and about in Paris which has garnered hundreds of shares on social media.
The women are warning locals to “be careful of their surroundings” after being approached or followed by people they didn’t know.
“PARENTS BE AWARE!!! There was a white van and a red SUV in Paris today at the PEDIATRIC clinic that was parked by a young lady’s car while she was in the clinic with her kids. When the mom and kids came out of the clinic she noticed the van and the SUV were parked by her car,” said one social media user.
The post continued to say that when the woman headed towards her car, both men got out of their vehicles.
“The mom felt unsafe and ran back in the clinic with her kids. The men got back in their vehicles and waited. The mom told the people at the clinic she felt unsafe so a man and woman walked her to her car. While she was getting the kids in the car the 2 men started their vehicles and then left. The mom was so shaken because it didn’t appear that there was any reason why the 2 men were there. PEOPLE, PLEASE BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS AT ALL TIMES!!”
Others have warned of being approached at Walmart by a woman needing help finding her vehicle before returning to a suspicious-looking van; not the vehicle she had described she was looking for.
“Y’ALL girls be careful out there. Today I was at Paris Walmart when I was walking to the parking lot an old lady came up to me asking if I could help her find her car. I asked where she might have parked it and she said somewhere on the end. I told her no because I had my dogs with me and she said oh please it shouldn’t take long. I knew something was fishy when she kept asking so I told her no once again and started walking to my car. She walked off and I watched her to see where she went. She walked over and got into a blue van with three men inside.”
Another woman shared her experience after she stated she was followed while in Walmart by three men who even after the went from isle to isle, continued to follow her.
“I asked the cashier in the self-checkout area if I could have assistance getting to my car. She immediately said yes I will call someone! A lady came to walk me out, and they both were extremely helpful and never made me feel silly for asking. I was already second-guessing myself, thinking how crazy I must seem but as I told both women- I would rather waste 5 minutes of your time, then not go home to my family tonight. She told me that they were getting more and more suspicious people in the store and that it was not uncommon to walk people out.”
On Thursday, Sept. 24. another woman shared a photo of a blue SUV stating, “DEPORT TEXAS BEWARE!! About 2:30 p.m. today there was a Mexican man about 6’0 and looked 200 lbs if not more watching my child n(sic) I the entire time we were at the gas station. Then two 8-year-old girls showed up and he started to watch them.”
Paris Interim Police Chief Randy Tuttle said that while there have been no reports of the suspicious activity posted on social media, he encourages residents to always be aware of their surroundings and if they ever feel the need, call 911.
“I encourage everyone to always be aware of their surroundings,” said Tuttle. “If you feel unsafe, wait until others are leaving the store and walk out with them or go back inside and ask an employee to escort you to your vehicle. If it’s at night make sure you park in a well-lit area.”
Tuttle said if anyone sees suspicious activity or they feel unsafe, call the police and they will investigate. Be sure to get as many details as possible including a description of the person (height, ethnicity, sex, age, etc.) and the vehicle (make, model, license plate).
Other safety tips:
- Never park in an isolated area.
- Make a mental note of where you parked your vehicle.
- Never leave valuable packages in your vehicle.
- Store your packages in the trunk of your car.
- When leaving your vehicle, make sure all doors are locked and windows closed.
- Have your keys ready when returning to your vehicle.
- If you have car trouble, remain in your car and use a cell phone to call for assistance.
- Walk confidently and be alert to your surroundings
- Shop with a partner or friends when possible
- Don’t burden yourself with too many bags or packages
- Don’t display large sums of cash
- Use checks or credit cards whenever possible
- Carry your handbag or purse close to your body with the clasp or flap toward you.
- Never leave your purse on a store counter, on the floor in a restroom, or in a dressing room.
- Don’t carry your wallet in your back pocket.
**The names of those sharing their stories on social media has not been posted to protect their identity**
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