Stark warning to female hikers after woman fears she was targeted for kidnapping by bizarre trick
- Female hiker raises alarm after finding red ribbon tied to her car’s door handle
- She went hiking in Glenbrook, NSW when found the ribbon and a man nearby
- Tying a ribbon is reportedly used by criminals to distract and kidnap women
A female bushwalker has shared the fright she got from being targeted by a ploy she had read online was used to lure females into a potentially dangerous trap.
The woman posted to Facebook that she had returned to her car from the Knapsack Stairs walking track in Glenbrook, New South Wales to find a piece of red ribbon wrapped around her vehicle’s door handle.
She immediately raised the alarm for ‘anyone going bushwalking alone’ after her suspicious discovery.
She had read that predators used the tactic of tying something around door handles to slow down the process of victims getting into their cars, giving them time to abduct or assault them.
A female hiker at the knapsack stairs walking track in Glenbrook issued a warning when she found a piece of string wrapped around the door handle of her vehicle.
Other women in the United States have also spotted red ribbon tied to their vehicles which are reportedly used to distract and kidnap drivers (pictured)
‘I’ve seen online that people do this to distract you when you’re going to the car so that you take time to see it and untie it,’ she wrote on Facebook.
‘There was a guy near my car at the time and when he saw my partner he walked away.’
She also called Penrith Police who reportedly sent police patrols to the area to investigate.
The female hiker has issued a warning for other woman to ‘stay safe’ and ‘be aware’ of the potential risks.
‘If you see ribbon of any kind on your door handle, avoid the car and seek help.’
The woman returned from the knapsack stairs walking track in Glenbrook (pictured) when she found ribbon tied to her car and a man near her vehicle
NSW Police told Daily Mail they have no comment on the alleged incident.
An American TikToker named Shannon, 20, recently shared a video online after she left a shopping centre’s parking lot and noticed two cars had pieces of string wrapped around the door handles.
‘WTF is this a joke? Somebody better not get kidnapped,’ she wrote.
She soon noticed another car with a similar piece of material, also on the driver’s side door handle.
‘We found a second one. I’m getting out of here,’ she wrote.
But the theory that ribbons are used to aid in the kidnap of women had been debunked by some – with authorities in the US branding the claims ‘ridiculous’ in 2019.
TikTok users have been sharing a widely-debunked theory that kidnappers tie string to car door handles in an attempt to kidnap vulnerable women
Is tying something onto a car door really a tactic used by criminals?
The idea that criminals and kidnappers tie something around a person’s car door handle in order to distract them and keep them out of their vehicle has long been warned against on social media.
It started in 2015 when Facebook users began warning that sex traffickers would use the trick to kidnap women.
However according to the Poynter Insitute, local police in a Canadian city where the post originated said there had been no reports of sex traffickers using the zip-tie contraption in the post.
Meanwhile the site also reported nonprofit organizations combatting human trafficking said the zip-tie method had not been identified as a trend.
At the time the FBI declined to comment on whether it was a method that they were investigating, or even aware of in the US.
In December 2019, local police departments in Texas and Michigan reassured residents that they had not received any complaints of zip ties being attached to cars, following a host of social media warnings, however neither department confirmed or denied whether the tactic was legitimate.
Celia Williamson, director of the Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute at the University of Toledo in Ohio, called the claims ‘ridiculous’, however no authorities have commented on the wider use of the tactic among other criminal groups.
Lt. Brian Oleksyk told WILX: ‘It’s essentially like an urban legend or a scare-lore. The whole idea of the intent is just to scare people.’
‘Most of the time for traffickers they are using a computer online or it’s somebody they already know from a previous relationship or a peer to peer. Very rare is it for them to prey on a stranger.’