After a claim of potential human trafficking at the Millcreek Mall made its way around Facebook, people have been on edge; now the authorities are getting involved.
You may have seen the post on your Facebook feed about one woman's scare at the Millcreek Mall. That story is not completely fabricated, but there are some inaccuracies. In the original Facebook post, a local woman was concerned after two men followed her through more than one store in the mall. Now, police and mall officials are not denying the presence of the two men, but it's the radical claim made about human trafficking in our area that has officials publicly responding.
Millcreek police say they did receive three separate and unrelated complaints of harassment from local women this weekend at the mall both inside and out of the building, but after reviewing surveillance video, police were not able to gather enough evidence to press charges. They also were unable to identify any actors.
Captain Carter Mook of the Millcreek Police Department says, "our officers did review some surveillance and they were not able to gather evidence to substantiate any charges related to the harassment incidents".
Mall officials want to assure shoppers that these are isolated incidents and that your safety is their priority not only around the holiday shopping season, but all year long. Kiara Catanzaro, the Marketing Director for the Millcreek Mall Complex, says, "security has been very well-versed on how to handle any type of situation at the mall and we have the best relationship with the Millcreek Police and we are happy to have them here in the community and to help us with the mall as well".
Millcreek and State Police both tell us they are not aware of any reports of attempted abduction or human trafficking in this area and for those who decided to share the post to be cautious while on social media. Mook says, "obviously there's no vetting process on social media... you can post anything you want to... if you're reading that sort of stuff... be aware that information may not be credible."
The women who made the original post tells us surveillance video reviewed by mall security and police did spot two men following her, but the Director of Corporate Communications for the mall says the men told security they were just trying to get her number.
Still, mall officials say if at any time you feel uncomfortable, report to mall security. "if you are shopping and you feel unsafe you can either contact the mall security or call 911 and we will respond to your complaint".
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