You have probably heard one story or another about strange men or women stalking women and their children at stores. Most of these stories seem to happen outside our city. However, it seems that it is now happening in our city.

People have claimed they have been followed and had these men and women taking pictures of them and their children. These people making small talk and offering to hold children in check out lines.

A story popped up on Facebook recently where a woman claims her and her young children were stalked by a man who was acting very strange, at our local Natural Grocers. Here is what the Facebook post said, the original Facebook post follows:

Jackie Williams, an Amarillo resident posted the following on Facebook, on Monday, February 26, 2018:

Please be careful in Amarillo today! I had a man follow us at Natural Grocers today around 11:15am. He pegged us from the beginning. At first I didn't think anything crazy, I was just extra careful. I made sure I had both kids' hands the entire time walking in and I put them both in the cart. At one point he came out of no where. He was following us through the store. At that point I looked him straight in the eyes and took off to check out and told the cashier he was acting weird around my kids and I thought he was following us. I asked for an escort out. The cashier said absolutely, but they can't kick him out unless he asks for money. I told them he didn't ask for money, he was after my kids. At the very end of me checking out, the dude rolled up behind me pretending to buy gum. The cashier got someone else for him and walked me out with wide eyes. This is a 20 something year old male and at this point he finally understood me. He said "did you see that! He came up behind you only buying something for 35 cents! And then he left it to follow us out!" He guy abandoned his gum and followed us out. The cashier called for another one and a second cashier came out to watch for us. The dude was hiding behind a pillar. I never once let go of my kids and had the cashier load my stuff. The second kept watch. I shut the van and locked it before I would even leave the side of the car. I ran around and got in and left immediately. A report has been filed, but please watch your babies!! He is maybe 35-45, white male with dirty long hair, dirty clothes, and a black hat with a white symbol on it.

Human trafficking is very real, and it does exist in Amarillo and it seems more and more this is how these people involved in human trafficking work.

We live in a world today where we always have to be on alert when we are out and about shopping, especially with our young children. However, our teenagers and young adults can be targets as well.

Here are some tips on how to stay safe when shopping and running errands.

  • 1

    Trust Your Gut

    I like to call it "momtuition." God gave us these little alarms in our head and our stomach when something doesn't feel right.  If it feels wrong to you and sets off all your alarms. Trust your intuition and do what you have to do to keep you and your children safe. Do as this woman did and ask to be walked to your car, call security, call the cops.

  • 2

    Be Alert

    Being alert means being aware of your surroundings.  Stay off your phone, don't text, don't take phone calls, don't scroll through social media. Be aware of your surroundings. Keep your children next to you and pay attention. Those not paying attention are usually the ones targeted.

  • 3

    Don't Let Your Kids Roam

    Keep your kids within arms length. Don't let them roam the store without you. Always keep them in your site.

  • 4

    Talk to Your Kids About Stranger Danger

    This is important especially in the world we live in today.  You have to teach your kids about strangers. You also have to teach them what to do in a situation and what to do if a strangers tries to take them.

  • 6

    Don't Go Home If You Feel You Are Being Followed After You Leave the Store

    If you leave the store and you feel like you are still being followed in your vehicle. Don't go home. Call police and find a safe spot.  You can even drive straight to the police station to keep you and your family safe. Try to get as many details as possible of the person(s) following you to relay to the police.

  • 5

    Take a Picture of the Suspected Person

    If you feel this person is following you and acting sketchy. Don't be afraid to pull your phone out and take a picture of them. Let them know you know what they are doing.  This can help police identify a person(s).  Only do this if you feel safe enough to do so.

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