Emailed crime alert warns that criminals are using two new techniques to trick drivers into stopping their vehicles: throwing raw eggs at windshields and placing infant car seats with fake babies in them on roadsides.
Description: Viral warning
Circulating since: Nov. 2009
Status: False (see details below)
As posted on Facebook, Sep. 16, 2012:
Didn't know if you knew about eggs mixed with water....... so that is why I'm sending this on. Be Safe! A MESSAGE FROM THE OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL STATE OF MICHIGAN : SITUATION... While driving on a rural end of the roadway on Thursday morning, I saw an infant car seat on the side of the road with a blanket draped over it. For whatever reason, I did not stop, even though I had all kinds of thoughts running through my head. But when I got to my destination, I called the Canton PD and they were going to check it out. But, this is what the Police advised even before they went out there to check.... "There are several things to be aware of ... gangs and thieves are now plotting different ways to get a person (mostly women) to stop their vehicle and get out of the car. "There is a gang initiation reported by the local Police Department where gangs are placing a car seat by the road...with a fake baby in it....waiting for a woman, of course, to stop and check on the abandoned baby. "Note that the location of this car seat is usually beside a wooded or grassy (field) area and the person -- woman -- will be dragged into the woods, beaten and raped, and usually left for dead. If it's a man, they're usually beaten and robbed and maybe left for dead, too. DO NOT STOP FOR ANY REASON!!! DIAL 9-1-1 AND REPORT WHAT YOU SAW, BUT DON 'T EVEN SLOW DOWN. "IF YOU ARE DRIVING AT NIGHT AND EGGS ARE THROWN AT YOUR WINDSHIELD, DO NOT STOP TO CHECK THE CAR, DO NOT OPERATE THE WIPER AND DO NOT SPRAY ANY WATER BECAUSE EGGS MIXED WITH WATER BECOME MILKY AND BLOCK YOUR VISION UP TO 92.5%, AND YOU ARE THEN FORCED TO STOP BESIDE THE ROAD AND BECOME A VICTIM OF THESE CRIMINALS.
THIS IS A NEW TECHNIQUE USED BY GANGS, SO PLEASE INFORM YOUR FRIENDS AND RELATIVES.
THESE ARE DESPERATE TIMES AND THESE ARE UNSAVORY INDIVIDUALS WHO WILL TAKE DESPERATE MEASURES TO GET WHAT THEY WANT." Please talk to your loved ones about this. This is a new tactic used. Please be safe. Get started NOW -- SEND THIS MESSAGE TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES TO BE CAREFUL AND AWARE OF EVERYTHING AROUND THEM SO AS NOT TO BECOME A VICTIM.
Email contributed by Denise C., March 12, 2010:
FYI, passed along from personnel at the Paulding County Courthouse, in Georgia. Several things to be aware of this year... as gangs and robbers are now plotting different ways to get a person to "stop" their vehicle.
There is a gang initiation reported by the local police department that gangs are placing a car seat by the road ... with a fake baby in it... waiting for a woman, of course, to stop and check on the baby. Note that the location of this car seat will usually be beside a wooded or grassy (field) area ...and the person - woman - will be dragged into the woods - beaten and raped - usually left for dead. DO NOT STOP. DIAL 9-1-1 AND INFORM THEM...
IF YOU ARE DRIVING AT NIGHT AND EGGS ARE THROWN AT YOUR WINDSHIELD. DO NOT OPERATE THE WIPER AND SPRAY ANY WATER BECAUSE EGGS MIXED WITH WATER BECOME MILKY AND BLOCK YOUR VISION UP TO 92.5% SO YOU ARE FORCED TO STOP BESIDE THE ROAD AND BECOME A VICTIM OF ROBBERS. THIS IS A NEW TECHNIQUE USED BY ROBBERS. PLEASE INFORM YOUR FRIENDS AND RELATIVES.
Email contributed by Steven K., Nov. 18, 2009:
Fwd: NEW TRICK TO ROB YOU...
If you are driving at night and eggs are thrown at your windshield.
Do not operate the wiper and spray any water because eggs mixed with water become milky and block your vision up to 92.5% so you are forced to stop at the roadside and become a victim of robbers.
This is a new technique used by robbers.
Please inform your friends and relatives.
Analysis: As you can see from the two email examples above, the eggs-on-windshields warning first began circulating by itself in late 2009. A few months later the message was combined with a different alert (also circulating since 2009) claiming that wannabe gangsters are leaving baby car seats on roadsides to trick drivers into stopping as part of a "gang initiation" rite.
Both messages are hoaxes. I've searched for police reports and news stories confirming that criminals have actually used such tactics and found none. Moreover, law enforcement agencies across the U.S. have issued statements dismissing these warnings as fictitious (see sources below). See also: 'National Gang Week' Crime Alert - Nov. 2009
Sources and further reading:
Urban Legends of Gang Initiations
Kansas City Police Chief's blog, 2 June 2010
SCPD: Reports of Gang Initiation Scenarios Fictitious
Huntington Patch (NY), 11 May 2010
Dubuque Police: Email Circulating Is NOT from Them
KCRG-TV News, 9 April 2010
Gang Plot Warnings Are Bogus, Police Say
Living Lake COuntry blog, 6 April 2010
Egg Smashing Robbery Warning Email Is a Hoax
Decatur Daily News, 18 December 2009
Last updated 09/17/12