WABASH VALLEY, Ind. (WTHI) – Pride in your family could be putting them at risk.
We understand. You’re proud of your student, your dog and your husband deployed overseas.
Family stick figures, bumper stickers and decals have become commonplace on vehicles these days.
“We see almost every car has a sticker. Whether it’s job-related or school-related, family-related, hobby-related,” said Sergeant Joe Watts, Indiana State Police.
But could a simple, silly sticker be putting your family in danger? It’s quite possible.
“You never know, we never know, what may trigger someone. If you’re a mother, hauling children, that may incite some pedophile to follow your vehicle, target where your kids go to school,” said Sgt. Watts.
One safety and awareness group posted a photo on a social media site, warning of these dangers.
They even mapped out how the sticker representing your family is giving criminals clues, clues on how to hit you where it hurts.
“If you’re a military wife, maybe you don’t want your vehicle marked as a military wife, because someone may know your husband or spouse may be gone for six months or more…When it comes to bad people targeting young children, one of the key things is to grasp the child’s name. If they get the child’s name off your van, target your child at school, follow you and know your children go, they may be able to walk up, call that child by name, reduce the fear of that child and that could lead to bad things,” said Sgt. Watts.
So are you marketing to stick figure predators? Maybe, maybe not.
But isn’t it always good to err on the side of caution?
“A lot of people want to put out everything to the public…but you have to be very limited on what you put out. You should be well-reserved on what you put out there,” said Sgt. Watts. “We all like to promote our families. We all like to promote our work and our friends and our hobbies. But just be careful what you put out there. And notice who’s around you at all times.”
Law enforcement officials want to remind you if you see a vehicle or person following you, call them immediately.