Mount Pleasant police are asking residents to strike a balance between sharing information and feeding the rumor mill as officials tried to shut down erroneous chatter of kidnapping attempts during the past week.
The first report — from a teenager who was approached by a couple at Oakland Market on Jan. 17 — proved to be panhandlers, police said. The teen called 911.
“Fortunately, this case appears to be a misunderstanding,” Officer Bill Martin said. “The juvenile took appropriate action in reporting the incident … (we) encourage the public to report any suspicious persons or activities.”
Then, a woman posted on Facebook saying she’d heard about another suspicious interaction that an acquaintance witnessed at a nearby Wal-Mart in which a woman was arrested for trying to kidnap a small boy.
As the post circulated, officers took notice. Police said they never carried out any such arrest and couldn’t substantiate the claim.
“We always appreciate your tips, questions, opinions and concerns,” the departments said in a Facebook post. “But please try to verify the information you are posting.”
Reach Sara Coello at 843-937-5705 and follow her on Twitter @smlcoello.