Monday morning, we heard the spine-chilling news reports out of Houston. A family was frantic, because their daughter -- 29-year-old sports reporter Courtney Roland -- was missing. At the time, the last person to hear from her was her roommate, whom Roland reportedly had texted saying a man in a truck was following her home.
Thanks to tips, police located Roland safe the next day, and the facts of what really happened are still unfolding. But, this story prompted a social media discussion: when someone's following you, in a car or on foot, what do you do?
Knowing the answer to that question, and remembering it under stress, could save your life.
To VERIFY, we invited Greensboro police officer Doug Campbell to join us on the Good Morning Show.
He explained this discussion is timely, as there was recently a series of robberies in Greensboro where two robbers picked out someone in a grocery store parking lot, followed that person home and later robbed the house.
So, if you think your car is being followed, what do you do?
"First, always watch for people following you. If you believe you are being followed, drive to a police station, fire station or store where people look like they can help you. Call 911." Never, he said, drive home.
Say you're not being followed in a car. You're being followed on foot, perhaps, while walking around in a store. What then?
"First, be aware of suspicious people and report them to the store manager or police. If approached, tell the person to stay away. If the person persists, run away and call for help. Run toward a police station, store or place where people look like they can help you."
What should women carry in their purses, especially when out alone?
"They can carry a whistle to attract attention or mace for self-defense. They should also carry their purses close to their body."
And how should you have a 'stranger danger' conversation with your children?
"In Greensboro, kids have been approached at bus stops, and people have exposed themselves to children in stores. I recommend staying in a group and being alert to what is going on around you."