MANTECA (CBS13) – Police say a Facebook post that went viral about an alleged case of stalking and human trafficking at the Manteca Costco parking lot was unfounded.
The Manteca Police Department says officers responded to Costco on Sunday to investigate a report of someone possibly stalking a woman.
As officers soon learned, the woman was apparently concerned about a person she had been seeing around town for years. After seeing this person again in the parking lot and fearing for her safety, she called her husband over.
The woman’s husband then confronted the person and took his car keys. The person, also now fearing for his safety, called a family member who soon drove him away.
Manteca police say they soon got a call from the person whose keys were taken. Officers say he met with investigators and explained he had no idea who the woman was and was not following anyone, he was just at Costco to buy birthday party decorations for one of his kids.
Further, officers later learned about a Facebook post that was making the rounds featuring the man’s face as well as his license plate number. The post, which claimed the man was involved in human trafficking, had been shared thousands of times.
Officers say they have investigated the incident thoroughly and say the allegations are unfounded.
“We strenuously ask that no one take violent action against anyone based on posts they see on social media. Quite often these posts do not contain all of the facts and can place individuals in unwarranted danger,” the Manteca Police Department said in a statement.