NewsLocal NewsWarren CountyMorrow

Actions

Morrow Police warn of human trafficking dangers after suspicious encounter

Morrow Police warn of human trafficking dangers
Morrow Police warn of human trafficking dangers
Posted at 6:38 AM, Nov 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-10 07:51:06-05

Morrow Police warned about human trafficking this week on Facebook after a customer claims to have seen a suspicious encounter Sunday at the JCPenney store on Fields Ertel Road.

"Human trafficking is real and it’s in Warren County," the department wrote on Facebook. "Please pay attention when you're out, and talk to your children, especially the 10- to 15-year-old range."

Morrow Police reposted a description of an incident where a woman claimed that she noticed two men following a young, petite saleswoman around the store. That customer helped the young woman find a security guard, and the store reassigned her to the cash register. A male customer allegedly corroborated her account, but it doesn't appear that any law enforcement officers were contacted at that time to investigate whether the men had nefarious intentions or were simply shopping.

Joey Thomas, a JCPenney corporate spokesman, said the company was aware of Sunday's incident.

"Although incidents such as these are not common in our stores, we always take them very seriously," Thomas said. "Our team is partnering with local authorities to investigate further, and we’re taking all necessary precautions to ensure associate and customer safety."

The Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force says 13 is the most common age that children can get forced into human trafficking. 

If you suspect human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888. Call 911 if somebody is in immediate danger.

You can also text "BeFree" to 233733, call your local police department, call the Department of Homeland Security at 866-347-2423 or report it online at ice.gov/tips.