MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – There’s a warning Tuesday night for people in Murfreesboro after suspicious vehicles were spotted in a neighborhood.
A father said each time the vehicles were in front of his house, his teenage daughter had just arrived home. He is now wondering if this could be people looking for human trafficking victims.
Murfreesboro police are not going that far to say its human trafficking but still ask residents to be vigilant.
The suspicious vehicles were spotted in the neighborhood twice within a matter of days, and now folks who live nearby are on edge.
Like any father, Donald Gallant is concerned for his daughter’s safety.
“That definitely scares me as a father because that’s showing right there that moral don’t exist anymore,” Gallant said. “Vehicle appearing in your neighborhood that are not normally there and blocking off driveways, that’s not a good situation.”
Last Tuesday, his 17-year-old daughter arrived home after a school function and noticed this older-model green Honda Accord parked near their driveway.
“Didn’t think anything of it, she came into the house, my wife went outside and got into her little truck, and a green Accord was blocking our driveway,” Gallant said. “My wife couldn’t figure out what was going on. The guy really wasn’t moving, just staring her down.”
Gallant told News 2 the car kept moving forward and then backing up but finally moved from in front of the driveway.
“She started following the car and all of a sudden he stopped next to this white panel van,” he said. “From there they both took off together.”
Two days later, the same green Honda Accord was in front of Gallant’s house again as his daughter arrived home from school.
“Instead of jumping out of her vehicle, she went ahead and locked all of her doors on the truck and called us to come out; she didn’t feel safe,” the concerned father said.
The green Honda took off.
“He pulled right up next to the white panel van and acknowledged the person inside the van and they both turned at the same time,” Gallant said.
After talking with police, Gallant is now wondering could this have been men looking to lure young girls.
“The officer can out and we sat down and discussed what was happening and he said it’s possible this could have been a sex trafficking ring, that’s going on, observing trying to find different people or whatever,” he said.
“We did respond to a call of suspicious behavior in the St. Andrews area last Thursday,” said interim police spokeswoman Amy Norville. “The responding officer spoke with the family and found no crime had been committed, only suspicious behavior. The family asked if it could be human trafficking and the officer told them he could not speculate on that.
The father took to social media and word of the suspicious vehicles began to spread.
“The biggest part of this was situational awareness,” Gallant said. “Being a parent is scary enough, but having someone follow your child is even worse.”
Murfreesboro police also posted on Facebook asking people to be vigilant.
“We do encourage all residents to remain vigilant for any suspicious behavior or subjects,” Norville said. “If anyone sees anything suspicious or feels something is not right in a situation, we encourage them to call our dispatch center at 615-893-1311. If someone is following you, please do not lead them to your home or work. Instead drive to a well populated area and call 911 for immediate assistance.”
Police said since no actual crime was committed, there is no active investigation at this time. Authorities have placed a special watch on the area just in case the drivers of those two suspicious vehicles return.
The father told News 2 the white panel van only had the word “painting” at the top and no company name or phone number.