Deputies give safety tips after woman claims man followed her at local business
RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WOLO)-Deputies are urging shoppers to be vigilant after a Midlands woman claims she was followed while shopping at a local Walmart.
Amanda Belin says her Friday night trip to the Walmart on Killian road took a terrifying turn.
“I was not expecting it to happen to me,” Belin said. “I just simply went into the store to get two things and I was being followed.”
She seemingly couldn’t avoid a man wearing a white t-shirt and blue shorts. She ran into him three times before panic set in.
“I immediately picked up my phone and called my boyfriend,” Belin said. “I grabbed my pocket knife that I had in my purse and I kept it close just in case he tried to pull me or do anything I at least had some type of defense.”
Belin posted about the horrific experience online and got more than 5k shares and thousands of comments and reactions. Some saying it has happened to them as well.
The post was noticed by Richland County Deputies.
“We think it’s important and we think its’ great that they’re informing people of situations that have happened, but we want them to call the police,” Captain Maria Yturria with RCSD said.
Belin has reached out to the local sex trafficking hotline and says she is going to report the incident to law enforcement.
In the meantime deputies urge people to always be be vigilant when walking to your car.
“We encourage people to be mindful of their surroundings especially if they are by themselves,” Yturria said. “And have your keys ready, don’t be fumbling in your pocketbook or looking for your keys when you get there.”
As a safety precaution officials say they will be increasing patrols in that area.