Police urge caution after report of following at Baraboo Walmart
A social media post about someone being followed in the Baraboo Walmart prompted police Thursday to post tips on how to not become a victim of human trafficking.
“Because of some concerns, we just wanted to put out some pointers,” Baraboo Police Chief Mark Schauf said.
In a post that was widely circulated on Facebook, a woman said two well-dressed men in their 30s or 40s followed her around the Walmart Supercenter in Baraboo on Tuesday.
She said the men did not have carts or any items in their hands, and followed her from one end of the store to the other. She wrote that she was so frightened she immediately checked out, told a cashier what happened, and had someone walk her to her vehicle.
The woman warned others to be mindful of their surroundings.
Schauf said he could not confirm that the incident occurred because his department was not notified. “We never received a report on it,” he said.
The woman who wrote the Facebook post did not immediately respond to a direct message on Thursday.
Attempts to confirm the incident with Walmart employees were unsuccessful. Three employees, including two managers, said they had no knowledge of it and directed the newspaper to contact corporate media relations.
Walmart spokeswoman Tara Aston said the Baraboo store was not made aware of the alleged incident.
“We don’t have any confirmation that this happened,” she said. “That’s something that, typically, if a cashier is made aware of it, they bring it to our asset protection manager.”
Aston said if customers do encounter situations such as the one that was reported on social media, they should notify a store employee immediately.
The police department cautions people to be aware of their surroundings, park in well-lit areas of a parking lot, and to avoid walking to vehicles alone late at night.
“If you notice something or someone suspicious, call it in right away,” the police department’s post said. “If you do not have a phone go directly to customer service.”