FULL STORY: Sioux Falls Woman Shares ‘Bad Feeling’ About Suspicious Man At Empire Mall
Facebook Posts About Several Encounters Going Viral
Several people are sharing the same warning to others on Facebook. The posts describe encounters with what appears to the be the same man hanging out in and around the Empire Mall. Both strange and scary, the posts are now going viral.
“I had a really, really bad feeling about it.”
Taelyn Phillips says she was at the Empire Mall on Wednesday night when she noticed a well-dressed man wearing yellow sunglasses and carrying a Macy’s bag staring at her. When she walked past him, he continued staring until she went into a store.
Phillips said, “That little voice in the back of my head told me to go into a store and just wait and make sure everything was all clear before you know, I came out.”
Phillips says it kept her up at night. She then began to see Facebook posts about other incidents near the mall describing who appears to be the same man. One woman said a man carrying a wrinkly Macy’s bag in the mall parking lot asked her daughter for directions, and then a ride. Another women said a man with the same bag *got into her car at a gas station, also begging for a ride. That’s when Phillips decided to post her own warning. It’s gotten more than 800 shares and hundreds of comments.
“I think awareness is so important and this is something that people should know about so I posted that on Facebook just to let people know that this is something that’s happening, you know, travel with somebody, trust your gut I guess,” said Phillips.
Phillips thought her encounter wasn’t enough to contact police. But authorities say no matter how small, mall security or police should be their first call.
Sioux Falls Police Department Capt. Loren McManus said, “Nobody has called the police department about what happened, so it makes it difficult for us to number one believe that it occurred, and number two try to figure out what’s going on.”
If someone does encounter you, police say you should do exactly what Phillips did. Get to a place where there’s a lot of people or to your car so you can get it locked and call police.