Sharing this story from the Tinley Park Moms group, of a mom’s terrifying real life local experience that happenened yesterday, to emphasize how important it is to always make sure to be aware of your surroundings and trust your gut when out with your child in public places.

I’m not one to post much on social media other than pictures of my kids, but if you don’t read this entire post, please read this…be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially if you’re out with your kids who are still in car seats.

[My son] and I are fine but we could be in a totally different position tonight. We were walking out of DSW in Orland this morning around 10:30am. This DSW is on the second level so there’s an open area with an elevator and escalators/stairs on the street level. We got off the escalator and an older male with a very strong southern accent was near the doors. He asked me what kind of store this was. I said a shoe store. He then asked again. I said it’s a shoe store. He said oh. I’m looking for thermal pants to wear under my jeans, do you know where I could get those? I said there’s a Dicks at the end of this shopping plaza, I’m sure they have them. He asked me again where it was then said so I’d have to get in my car and drive over there? I said yeah, that would be easiest. He said okay thanks, and [my son] and I walked out. He walked out a little behind us. As we are walking to our car, we hear a car alarm going off. It happens to be two cars down from us and I assume someone just set off their alarm. I unlock my car and as I’m getting [my son] in his seat I look back and this guy has his key fob in his hand and says I guess it works. Now im thinking, okay dumbass what is wrong with you? There are barely any cars in this parking lot and you have been out of your car for less than 5 minutes. I looked the other way out my back window and see a black SUV slowly coming down our aisle. I didn’t even have [my son] buckled in his car seat yet, that’s how fast all of this is happening. I look at the guy and he walks past his driver door and is standing towards the back of his car which was backed in the parking spot. I tell [my son] we have to get out of here because something isn’t right. I close his door. Get in the driver seat, and lock my doors and start my car all while watching this guy watch me. I decided I wasn’t letting the black suv go anywhere closer to us and backed out of the parking spot as fast as I could. As I go to pass the guy who is two cars down from us, he’s trying to pull out in front of me. I hit the gas and hoped like hell he didn’t hit me since [my son] wasnt buckled. I told [my son] to sit still and I was going to go somewhere safe where I could buckle him. He knows the car shouldn’t move if he isn’t buckled so he kept telling me he needed to get buckled. Car seat safety isn’t something I take lightly so I was just hoping neither of these cars, or someone else hit us. We ended up going to the kohls in that same plaza and I parked right out front of the entrance, put my hazards on, and buckled [my son]. The two cars weren’t near us. I ended up going over by dicks to see if his car was over there and it wasn’t.

Moral of this long post…please pay attention to your surroundings. There are bad people out there and parents with young kids are easy targets since we have to get kids buckled in car seats, load up strollers, etc. I’ve never been so glad to only have [my son] with me because I had no diaper bag or stroller or anything that required me to take even more time loading. Car seat safety is something I don’t take lightly, but it was safer for me to get us out of that situation than to buckle him. Who knows if it was nothing, or if it was something, but I felt the need to share, even if it just reminds one person to stay vigilant.

Original Facebook Post 11/14/21 at 9:22 PM

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