Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Are marks left on vehicles linked to sex trafficking? Probably not but Hickory police are investigating
special report top story

Are marks left on vehicles linked to sex trafficking? Probably not but Hickory police are investigating

  • Updated
  • 0
{{featured_button_text}}
red blue lights police car at night

Evgen_Prozhyrko/stock photo

HICKORY -- The Hickory Police Department is investigating strange markings that were found on vehicles in Hickory. The marks have been the subject of rumors that they are connected to sex trafficking.

The Hickory Police Department received some reports of markings on car windows at the Target department store, El Paso Mexican Restaurant and Tractor Supply Company in the vicinity of U.S. Highway 70. None of the reports listed anyone as harmed, according to a press release from the department.

The marks are of various numbers and letters or indiscernible marks, according to Chrystal Dieter, victim and community services coordinator for the department.

“We are currently investigating these incidents to identify the person(s) responsible and will take out any applicable charges,” the release stated.

The incidents were discussed on social media and represent a common trafficking myth that involves kidnapping or physically forcing someone into a situation, according to the release.

Support Local Journalism

Your subscription makes our reporting possible.
{{featured_button_text}}

The department shared a link to snopes.com which shares information on the myth.

According to the website, the myth originated from a Twitter post published in August this year where a user describes an incident where their friend discovered marks on her vehicle. The post goes on to say that this friend was informed that this is how sex traffickers are marking cars. The user never shares how the people mentioned in the post know this.

More information about the myth can be found at www.snopes.com/fact-check/sex-traffickers-tagging-cars/.

“Our department has not been alerted by state or federal authorities of any information that indicates criminals are marking vehicles as a method for anything,” the release stated.

The Polaris Project, which tracks human trafficking and advocates for awareness, says the reality is "most traffickers use psychological means such as tricking, defrauding, manipulating or threatening victims into providing commercial sex or exploitative labor."

Although the reports don’t match the normal criteria for human trafficking, the Hickory Police Department is taking these reports seriously and will investigate fully, according to the release.

Get local news delivered to your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

  • Updated

A Connelly Springs man is wanted for shooting a man at Halfway Supply in Vale, according to a Lincoln County Sheriff's Department news release.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News

News Alert