The internet can be a wonderful place to share information, but it can also be a fast way to spread falsehoods.
Over the past week, several social media posts were made and shared showing an unidentified man allegedly following an Ardmore woman and her child in Walmart.
Video footage was posted by a customer who was in the self-check out area of the local store, with commentary describing a man “not speaking English” wandering around the store. Comments quickly rolled in — and are still going on the original video post. The post had 117,000 views as of press time—and more than 2,200 shares.
While the focus of the posts seem to be safety and awareness, the alleged incident was apparently not reported to police and could not be confirmed by the store according to Ardmore Police Capt. Keith Ingle.
“We did investigate one incident earlier this year of three subjects allegedly following a lady and her child,” Ingle said. “The investigation found no evidence [of the allegations.]”
Ingle said video surveillance showed the subjects in the same area as the alleged victims several times, however they appeared to be purchasing items in those areas.
“All retail stores channel people through their stores in a way that you may see the same people several times while inside the store,” Ingle said.
APD reported no open investigations in related matters.
If you suspect you may be being followed, Ingle said, inform store personnel and contact law enforcement.
“Do not wait and post on social media,” he said.
Reports of any related incidents should be made directly to the Ardmore Police Department or the nearest law enforcement agency by calling 911.
A spokesman for Walmart, Razi Jarwala, said the store has a number of policies and procedures to respond to threats to its customers and that store associates and managers train regularly on those procedures.