There have been recent reports of traps being set for females in Flint-area parking lots -- don't take the bait.

Human trafficking is a serious problem in Flint, Genesee County, and Mid-Michigan at large. We've reported on incidents of near-abductions in the past, but imagine how many cases of abduction there are that nobody knows about -- because they were successful. It's a chilling reality that we all must face living in an area that is close to a border and has multiple expressways, making it especially susceptible to human trafficking, according to Genesee County Prosecutor, David Leyton.

Unfortunately, women and children are the most likely to be victims of human trafficking, and statistics show that in a majority of cases -- it is for sexual purposes. That is why you always have to be aware of your surroundings, and make smart decisions. The scumbags that perpetrate these kind of crimes aren't without their tricks, and it's important that you don't fall for them, much like the local woman in this story didn't.

According to her Facebook post, the young woman in question left work with a group of others after finishing her second shift job at a the Genesee Valley Center in Flint Township. Remember -- strength in numbers. Upon entering her vehicle, she noticed a blue flannel shirt on her windshield. Rather than get out and remove it, she locked the doors and tried to use the wipers. The shirt was wrapped around the wiper, and did not come off.

Her parents had informed her of this "put something under the windshield" trap being used on women in the Flint and Burton area recently. The idea being that the driver gets out distracted, and then someone attacks, or steals the car, or who knows? The point is -- it's bad news. The young woman drove off instead of getting out to remove the shirt in the parking lot, where danger could've been lurking in the shadows.

Remember that this type of danger is out there. Don't fall for these traps, be they people laying in the road at night, or broken down cars, or whatever. If you're alone, and it's night -- just keep driving and call the cops. That way, if it's a real emergency -- they can get real help from the authorities. If not, well, that's a few less scumbags on the street.

UPDATE: After the story went viral, and received national attention, Flint Township Police contacted the woman and investigated the incident. It was later discovered that two men put the shirt on the woman's vehicle as a prank (although that doesn't sound like much of a prank), and were not even present when she returned to her vehicle.

Despite the ordeal being a prank, it still serves as a valuable reminder to stay safe, and to avoid becoming distracted when you are in a vulnerable situation. All types of criminals have used tactics similar to these to distract their victims and get them out of their vehicle just long enough to strike. This time it was a prank, next time it might not be.