CRIME, POLICE + COURTS
Woman warns of being followed at local store, police say you should report it
Aug 11, 2022, 6:00 AM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 11:28 am
COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — A Utah woman says she was followed by two suspicious men at an area Target recently.
Cottonwood Heights Police say they want you to report it when things like that happen — even if you think it’s not worth law enforcement’s time.
This woman, who does not want her name to be revealed, told KSL NewsRadio the incident happened Wednesday at the Fort Union Target in Cottonwood Heights.
She describes walking in, and noticing two men in the produce section, but thought nothing of it.
“But then I start seeing them weirdly, creepily every place I was going in the store,” she said.
She said one would be behind her, not wanting her to see him, and followed her into the cosmetics section.
“He legit held up a bottle of sunscreen, acting as if he was taking a picture of said sunscreen, but literally like moved his camera toward me — to take a photo of me,” the woman said.
The woman said she finally told a store associate when she went to checkout and asked for security to escort her to her car, which they did. The men — who the woman describes as in their mid to late 40s with dark hair — had run off.
Target response to woman being followed
Target’s corporate office confirmed to KSL NewsRadio that they were aware of the situation and were going to look into what happened. The company stressed it would work with whatever law enforcement needed.
But the woman told the store, and KSL, she did not want to involve the police. She said didn’t feel like it warranted a response from law enforcement.
“What can they really do?” the woman said.
She did share her story through her Instagram stories. She said she wanted to warn other women that this could happen to them. And she believes this may have been some random men with bad intentions.
“They prey on women in these stores that are mainly for women, let’s be real,” she said.
When to report
Cottonwood Heights Police say they do want people to report suspicious activity like this.
“That helps (us) at least focus some directive patrols, at least alert other stores,” said Sgt. Gary Young.
He also said even retroactively, they want people to inform them.
“Even after you’ve gone home…and you put two and two together…we take reports all the time and we encourage you (to) report it rather than not report it,” Young said.
More local women report being followed
Young added that Cottonwood Heights hasn’t had many recent reports of suspicious behavior like this.
In response to her Instagram story, the woman said “30 to 40” other women reached out to her sharing similar stories of experiences of being followed in local stores.
Another woman, who also wanted to remain nameless, told KSL NewsRadio she’s been followed in several stores in the same Fort Union area.
But Young reports that women being followed — at least to his knowledge– is uncommon in the area.
“The last (report of someone feeling uncomfortable) I remember was back in June,” Young said. “I can’t say it happens often, but you know we have a major thoroughfare of Union Park Avenue with several stores.”
And Young thinks it may be thieves targeting purses that may be what happening here, even possibly a duo working together — one distracts while the other steals a wallet from a purse.
“Shopping carts — that’s where potential victims may place their purses,” he said. “Going out on a limb that would probably be the most probable explanation for why someone would follow someone in a grocery store,” said Young.
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