West Hartford Police said Monday that posts that are making their way around social media, indicating that blonde women are being targeted for sex trafficking, are completely false.
By Ronni Newton
Assistant Chief Robert McCue of the West Hartford Police Department said that rumors going around through social media, on both Facebook and Instagram, that there have been multiple attempts to abduct blonde women in West Hartford Center and Blue Back Square for sex trafficking are absolutely false.
“It’s like the old telephone game,” McCue said. “Someone hears something, and as it goes on it changes.”
McCue said that police have received concerned calls from Blue Back Square staff and from several residents after they saw one of several versions of a warning on social media.
One social media post said that a young woman was waiting outside for her husband to pick her up in Blue Back Square when she heard a man on a phone describing her height, weight, hair color, etc. As she started to move away, the post said, a large black SUV pulled up but then her husband pulled up and the SUV quickly pulled away. The post said that police were notified and claimed that there had been multiple incidents reported and that young women with blonde hair were being targeted.
Another version said that a woman was waiting for her husband outside CVS in the Center when a similar situation unfolded. In that version the man was next to her and talking on an earpiece, describing her appearance. The post also claimed that police told them that there had been multiple cases reported of attempts to abduct women in West Hartford for sex trafficking, and that blonde women in particular were being targeted.
McCue said that police did receive one report on the afternoon of July 30, regarding an incident that had taken place at 6:30 p.m. on July 28 in West Hartford Center, but the facts are very different from the social media posts.
“We got a phone call with a complaint, from a women who said she was walking down Farmington Avenue and heard someone say ‘got one with two kids,'” McCue said.
The woman, who was walking with her children, got concerned that she was being targeted. She told police that she was walking on Farmington Avenue near LaSalle road and the only person she saw who could have made the comment was a man sitting at an outdoor dining table who was on the phone. She then walked by a truck in the loading dock and became even more suspicious.
After police received a call from the woman on July 30, they were able to access video taken outside a store and see that shortly after the woman walked by, the man who had been described as being on the phone was greeted by another woman. The two embraced and then walked away, and McCue said it looked to be an innocent situation.
“No blonde women have been abducted,” McCue said, nor are police aware of any actual attempts made to abduct blonde women, or any other women. “There are no other cases,” he said.
McCue stressed that no one, however, should be afraid of calling police when they are concerned or see anything unusual. “If something doesn’t feel right, we want people to call us,” he said.
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