Locals worry human trafficking could be back in Salisbury
SALISBURY, Md. – It seems the community in Salisbury believes human trafficking may be making a comeback in the city.
People are taking to social media, sharing their stories of disturbing encounters they’ve had both at the Centre at Salisbury and the Salisbury Walmart.
On Monday, 47ABC spoke with local law enforcement to get to the bottom of all this.
Police told us there have been no official reports made about human trafficking, but members of the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office did admit that many people have been sharing social media posts with them expressing concerns.
Those posts contain stories of people being followed, children being grabbed, and people being approached by strangers who try to prevent them from leaving the situation.
On Monday, we met up with one of those social media posters. She told us about a terrifying encounter she recently had at the Centre at Salisbury.
Nicole Bishop said, “I was like who are you, do I know you, what is your name? Why are you following me? And he just says no, no no…I drove down the aisle and he followed me down the aisle and so I went down the next aisle and he followed me that way and I was like, okay so I’m pretty sure at this point that he is definitely following me.”
Nicole Bishop was able to get help from mall security, and we’re told they filed a report with the Salisbury Police Department.
We’re told unfortunately, most of these social media posters haven’t been making police reports, making it almost impossible for police to look into their claims.
Captain Rich Kaiser with the Salisbury Police Department gave us the following statement: “We have not received any reports of human trafficking. We are fully aware of the social media posts and encourage those persons making the posts to call us immediately. We are working with the Centre security staff as well as Walmart staff to try and get some details. We have been, and continue to partner with the Department of Homeland Security and our own States Attorneys office to continue to educate the community on human trafficking and what to look for. The social media posts certainly do not fall within the suspicion of human trafficking. If the incident is that important to the person, they should be calling the police immediately and not drafting a social media post or live video to explain their encounter. Please call us immediately, see something, say something.”
The tricky thing here is police say human trafficking is hard to detect, so it’s hard to tell if it’s making a comeback or not.
If you ever feel you are being targeted for human trafficking, take note of how the suspect looks, what car they may be driving, and call police.
If you can’t do that in the moment, make a scene and draw attention to yourself as we’re told that will typically scare off an attacker.