Ashley Hardacre already knew the importance of being careful in parking lots, but what she saw on her car was so unusual that alarm bells immediately went off in her head.
As CBS News reports, Ashley works at Gennesee Valley Mall in Flint, Michigan. Last week, the 19-year-old finished her shift and headed to the mall parking lot. Because she worked the closing shift, Ashley was accompanied by several other girls for safety’s sake.
But, as she later posted on Facebook, it wasn’t until she got in the car that Ashley noticed a hidden danger. And it came in the form of shirt that was inexplicably blocking her view. She wrote:
“I got to my car and locked the doors behind me immediately as I always do and noticed that there was a blue flannel shirt on my windshield.”
Though most people would jump out of the car and remove the shirt, Ashley realized that would be a mistake:
“There were two cars near me and one was running so I immediately felt uneasy and knew I couldn’t get out to get it off.”
Ashley’s first thought was that the shirt had simply been discarded. But it didn’t take long to figure out there was something more sinister going on:
“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.”
Aware of the danger of removing the shirt with other cars around her, Ashley drove a short distance to a safe area first. She then untangled the shirt from her wiper and made plans to have mall security walk her to the car from now on. She wrote:
“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.”
Though shaken by the incident, Ashley said she was grateful she’d been warned about the possibility of being lured out of her car. She concluded:
“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.”
After Ashley’s post was shared widely on social media, Flint police contacted her and are now investigating, in hopes of finding the person responsible. Detective Sergeant Brad Wangler told CBS News that people should be “vigilant” and call 911 if they find something strange on their car. He added that what happened to Ashley isn’t common:
“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].”
Ashley is working with investigators and says that it’s obvious from the way the shirt was wrapped around her wipers that it was put there intentionally. She told CBS News that she posted the story to warn others of the possible danger:
“A lot of people think it is fake or it won’t happen to them. But you can never be too safe.”