No evidence of sex trafficking scheme in weekend zip-tie incidents

No evidence of sex trafficking scheme in weekend zip-tie incidents

SMITHFIELD – Smithfield Police said shopping carts zip-tied to vehicles at the Crossing at Smithfield last Saturday are not related to a sex trafficking scheme, though they warn that shoppers should be aware of their surroundings in shopping center parking lots.

Police investigated complaints of shopping carts zip-tied to a vehicle on Saturday night and learned of another incident through a Facebook post occurring in the parking lot at the Crossing, 371 Putnam Pike, that night as well.

The post suggested that the shopping cart zip-tied to the vehicle may be part of a sex trafficking scheme attempt to kidnap victims, but the department said there is no evidence to support those claims.

“All shoppers, no matter where you shop, should always be aware of their surroundings in parking lots,” a press release from the Smithfield Police Department read.

Police warn not to accept help from strangers should a suspicious circumstance occur, such as a shopping cart being zip-tied to a car.

Instead, police advise people to return to the store and seek assistance from an employee and contact Smithfield Police at 401-231-4500.