A female friend of mine was pretty shook up the other afternoon.

She was doing some shopping at a local store here in Bismarck.  After walking through the parking lot in broad daylight at around 5 pm, she was a bit surprised when she finally reached her car and what she encountered.  My friend had found find a zip tie on her door handle.  This woman is also a former police officer from eastern North Dakota, so she knows what this could mean.

Luckily this friend of mine was very much aware of what she should do in this situation and no harm was done.

Rick Rider
Rick Rider

If you search the Internet at all, it won't take long for you to see the potential danger of this practice.  Most of the time, it's likely some juvenile prank meant to scare somebody.  That is likely what the intention was to my friend last week.

However, it can mean something far more sinister such as you have been "marked" as a potential victim.

Criminals sometimes do this hoping you will take the time to try to take the zip tie off your door handle and that gives them time to rob you or worse.

What should you do if you encounter something like this in the future?

First off, my former police officer friend suggests you try to remain calm and do NOT mess with the zip tie.  Get into your vehicle immediately and don't stop anywhere to take the zip tie off your door handle.  Once again, the criminal might be following you and use this time to make their move.  Drive straight home and alert a friend of your situation.  At this point, when you're in the safety of your garage remove the zip tie.

This is a great reminder to always be aware of your surroundings no matter who you are.  Scan your surroundings.  These scum bags love to use big parking lots to cause distractions before they prey on their next victims.  They will even use zip ties.

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