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What to do if you feel you’re being followed

Posted at 12:37 PM, Dec 19, 2019

DETROIT, Mich. -- It was a terrifying situation for one mail carrier in Detroit on Saturday afternoon.

Ring Doorbell video captured the moment the mail carrier asks a homeowner if she could come in, fearing men in a red van were following her. Moments later, you see a red van drive by.

“I think that anytime that you feel that something is going on regardless of if it is really happening or not, you have to take some steps just to make sure that you are safe,” said First Lieutenant Mike Shaw, Public Information Officer for Michigan State Police.

First Lieutenant Shaw says this postal worker did the right thing by finding a safe place to get away. He says trust your gut, and find a place with people.

“So going into the house or getting into a public place is something that you always want to do,” said Lt. Shaw.

From there, Lt. Shaw says you should call police. He says they would rather check out something that turns out to be nothing than to not be called on something that could potentially be dangerous.

He says if you do get into a jam and someone confronts you, yell “fire” instead of “help."

“If you yell fire people do have a tendency to come running to that for some reason,” said Lt. Shaw.

Lt. Shaw also warns to be careful of what you post and read on Facebook or social media. It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry, but says in certain situations, they can be explained as simple misunderstandings.

“If you are looking at Facebook, if you are looking at social media, remember there’s no rules there," said Lt. Shaw. "There’s no one that is actually saying you can put this here,you can’t put that on there, so don’t believe that there is a lot of gangs running around, you know, abducting people cause that has the tendency to make you a little bit more nervous,” said Lt. Shaw.

Lt. Shaw says when you do call police, find out the name of the responding officer or detective in charge. You can even ask for a business card. That way you can follow up to see if this was something more serious or maybe even nothing to be afraid of.

This story was originally published by Ali Hoxie at WXYZ.