Police: Criminals used high beams to blind, then attack victim

(Photo: WCNC)

YORK COUNTY, S.C. (WCNC) - An attempted crime that many people brushed off as a social media hoax was very real, police say.

A woman in Rock Hill, S.C. says she was sitting in her car in a Walmart parking lot when two men pulled their car in front of her and turned on their high-beam headlights to blind her, then got out and tried to pry open her doors.

The woman was able to speed off, but said she was so shaken by the experience, she left the state to stay with family.

A friend of the woman turned to social media to warn others, but as the post went viral, many readers became skeptical, saying the warning was a hoax.

But as police continued to investigate the story, they began to believe it was legitimate and say they're now concerned about the crime.

"It could've been someone trying to entice her to get out of the car," said Rock Hill Police Officer Mark Bollinger.

As officers work to learn more about the woman's claim, police are using the experience to give a lesson in safety, especially during the busy holiday shopping season.

"If you ever feel like you're in an unsafe situation, don't think you're bothering us," Bollinger said. "That's what we're here for. We're here to help"

He said people should avoid sitting in their cars if possible, especially if they're alone and distracted. If someone approaches suspiciously or you feel unsafe, call 911, something the woman in the Walmart parking lot did not do.

Bollinger says if you leave the parking space and the suspects start to follow you, drive to the nearest police agency.

Police are still trying to gather information about the crime, including a vehicle description and surveillance video from the Walmart.

Meanwhile, the friend of the alleged victim is standing by her post.

"It was just too close to home and I wanted people to be aware," the woman said. "Who knows what would've happened if they had gotten her car and she didn't lock the doors?"

Filed under: