October 15, 2018 — This morning, San Angelo Police received several inquiries concerning viral social media posts about black-colored zip ties being used to target potential victims of human trafficking. One post was concerning a zip tie that was placed on a San Angelo woman’s vehicle side mirror. In another post, a warning message stated that sex traffickers were placing black zip ties on the lamp posts, houses, apartments, and fences of their intended female targets.
The San Angelo Police Department has not received any reports of human trafficking, kidnappings or attempted kidnappings relating to human trafficking nor have we received any reports of black zip ties being used as a means to mark a target of any type of crime.
Additionally, our administration has reached out to the Angelo State University Police Department and their administration has confirmed that they have not received any such reports.
In researching the reported posts, the Department has confirmed that one of the women who made the original posts was not, in fact, the owner of the vehicle and that the woman had seen the claim online and copied and pasted the photograph and warning as a means to alert women about human trafficking.
Although the San Angelo Police Department believes the original post was made with good intentions as a means to raise awareness, we want to remind citizens that we all have a shared responsibility to not spread rumors or unverified information through social media networks. Spreading rumors misrepresents the dangers, warning signs and risks associated with sex trafficking. Instead, we encourage our citizens to seek out resources concerning the validated warning signs of Human Trafficking and ways to take action. For more information about how you can become an advocate in your community visit Shared Hope International at https://sharedhope.org/aoh.
Although the recent claims proved to be a hoax, we want our citizens to remain aware of their surroundings at all times and if anyone is uncomfortable or in fear at any time, they should call 911 and report the situation.