You never think it could happen to you – until it does.

Britt Torres of New Bedford was on high alert on Thursday during her grocery shopping trip when she realized that she was being followed through the store by a strange man. Her young daughter was the first to notice, and Torres knew she needed help.

“I first noticed him when we walked in,” Torres said. She said he was easy to spot because of the colorful shirt he was wearing. She began her normal shopping routine when she noticed the man was following closely behind.

Torres tells me that her daughter noticed the man staring at them in the produce aisle, and she buckled herself into the carriage, saying, “Just in case.”

As soon as her daughter became uncomfortable, Torres became suspicious.

“I started to deliberately go down different aisles to see if he would follow," she said. "I didn’t want to assume the worst. It took me a good couple of aisles to realize that he was definitely following me.”

The man in question had no carriage and had not picked up a single grocery item from any of the aisles as Torres’s anxiety continued to heighten.

At one point, Torres’s sister FaceTimed her, so she took this as an opportunity to drop some hints that she was uncomfortable, hoping the man would stop. Instead, the man got even closer.

“I don’t know why I am being followed,” Torres said to her sister, loud enough for the man to hear, and he finally walked away.

Torres went one step further and asked for assistance to continue her shopping safely. Two female employees followed her as she finished, and one gentleman walked her and her daughter to her car when they were done.

“They told me they couldn’t locate the man after I asked for help, but they would keep an eye out,” Torres said.

She shared her story online, and it was met with comments from other shoppers that were there that day, reporting suspicious behavior as well.

The Dartmouth Police Department caught wind of the incident, and released this statement:

“Upon reviewing the narrative attached to the post, it has been determined that no crime was committed.

Also, unless it violates any Massachusetts General Law(s), we are not responsible for what people post on their own individual social media platforms, comments included.

As always, we recommend that if someone doesn't feel safe inside of a store, they should either seek assistance from management, or call the police while the activity is occurring.”

Torres wants to make it clear that she was in no way trying to profile a stranger. She and her daughter were uncomfortable and Torres did the appropriate thing asking for help.

“I had to show my daughter how to handle a scary situation, and how to stay calm under stress,” Torres said.

Luckily, nothing more has come from this incident and all people in question are safe, but the story could have ended a lot differently if Torres wasn’t extremely aware of her surroundings.

You never know people's intentions, and it’s always a good idea to ask for help. Torres has been called a liar by some after releasing her story and that's deeply upsetting. Whether the man had bad intentions or not, this is an unfortunate occurrence that many women have had to deal with when shopping alone. Bottom line: she was uncomfortable. No further explanation needed.

If this was your mother, daughter, or sister, wouldn't you want them to feel safe and ask for help?

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