UPD warns students to be vigilant after student reports possible human trafficking ploy

Scott Young, News Editor

The Jacksonville State University Police are warning students to remain vigilant of their surroundings after a student took to social media to report a “ploy that human traffickers use.”

Patricia Wisenbaker, a student at JSU, reported on Facebook that she found three white dots in a triangle on her windshield and that she believes they were placed there either at the old RMC hospital in Jacksonville or at Gamecock Village.

“I woke up on Friday and they were on my car,” said Wisenbaker. “I had been at the RMC the previous night for an SAI [Sigma Alpha Iota] event but I don’t know if they were already there or not because it was really dark driving back.”

Wisenbaker said that she has read that the three white dots are what human traffickers use to mark cars of vulnerable women who travel alone.

“I told my roommate about it before I made the post and she said that some of her SAO [Sigma Alpha Omega] sisters have had similar markings on their cars around campus,” said Wisenbaker.

Wisenbaker also raised a concern with the lighting of the old RMC hospital parking lot in Jacksonville.

“They should really light it better out there especially since they have practice rooms that are frequently used late at night while Mason [Hall] is closed,” she said.

Rob Schaffer, the chief of the university police, urges students to remain vigilant of surroundings, walk in groups at night and report suspicious activity to the UPD.

“At this point UPD officers have been advised of the situation and will be vigilant to determine the source of the dots so we can determine the intent,” said Schaffer.

Schaffer said that students should pay attention to their windshield when they leave their vehicle and report any dots marked to assist in determining the location of occurrence.

“After being informed of the concern, I reached out to various law enforcement partners including the East Metro Area Crime Center concerning the dots found on the windshield,” said Schaffer. “We were unable to find any report or information linking dots in a triangle to trafficking in the area.”

If anyone has information that may help determine a motive or has knowledge of anybody placing dots on windshields, they should contact UPD at 256-782-5050.

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