Both the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and the Eureka Police Department have released statements in response to a rumor that has spread wide in local social media circles about supposed parking lot-targeting of women and children by human traffickers.
The posts alleging the operation contain details that are similar to others that have received attention in other areas around the country.
Read the HCSO and EPD statements below.
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Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release:
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has been made aware of “1F, 1C” being written on vehicles through viral social media posts from all across the country, and most recently in a particular Facebook group for Humboldt County mothers.
The Sheriff’s Office has not received reports of this happening at any grocery stores within our jurisdiction nor have we received any abduction reports matching those being shared online. Our staff has not received any official intelligence briefings or reports verifying that human traffickers are marking cars of vulnerable persons by writing “1F” or similar on them.
That being said, we do know that human trafficking is real and does occur within Humboldt County. While we do not have official intelligence linking these stories being shared online to facts, we also strongly urge the public to remain vigilant and aware whenever out in public. If a person feels like they are being followed in a store or parking lot, seek out a store employee, notify them of what is going on and call law enforcement. If a community member observes something strange on their vehicle that they were not expecting to be there, do not investigate further. Get inside your car, lock the doors and drive to somewhere safe like your local law enforcement office. Please report suspicious circumstances to your local law enforcement.
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Eureka Police Department press release:
Over the last week, the Eureka Police Department has received several reports of things similar to 1F (1 female) or 1C (1 child) written in the dust of vehicle windows while parked in store parking lots. These reports have come in after numerous viral social media posts warning of predators targeting women in parking lots.
While these reports have come in to us, there has not been any evidence that there is an association with abduction or human trafficking.
We are attempting to obtain surveillance of the local incidents and have reached out to other agencies for more information. At this time we have not received any State or Federal Alerts of this type of abduction/trafficking technique.
Continue to be aware of your surrounding and report any suspicious activity to your local authorities. Take notice of clothing and vehicle descriptions, and get the license plate if possible.
Here is some information on indicators of Human Trafficking from the Department of Homeland Security: