Almost every woman you know has found herself in a situation with a stalker at least somewhat similar to this one.

Sadly, its become so commonplace to hear of these things, we usually dismiss it. But when it happens in one of our East Texas cities, possibly to someone we know, we take heed.

Recently on a local social media group page, a young Tyler woman shared a frightening experience she had at the Tyler Walmart located at Loop 323 and 64.

The stalking began in the parking lot.

googlemaps

She noticed a man walking by slowly, staring intently into her vehicle though the windows. She was creeped out, of course. However, she proceeded into the store.

Once inside, she walked directly to the shampoo aisle. It wasn't long before she saw, peripherally, someone else turn down that aisle. She scooted closer to the aisle in order to give them plenty of space. The person stopped several feet away from her. But then...

Get our free mobile app

When she looked around she realized it was the same man she'd seen looking inside her vehicle in the parking lot. Although she didn't want to overreact, she started keeping more of an eye on him.

She continued to stare at the shampoo on the shelves when the man wandered to where she was and knelt down. He pretended to be staring at the shampoo on the bottom shelf.

However, the woman noticed he had his phone, face up on his thigh with the camera open. She noticed he appeared to be trying to position the angle so he could see up her skirt.

Once she fully realized what was happening she immediately left the aisle and headed over the garden department to let an employee know about the man.

Kudos to the Walmart team who immediately alerted a manager. While they were speaking, the man who'd been stalking her entered the garden area and they noticed he was looking down aisles.

Was the stalked once again looking for her, perhaps? Seems quite likely, based on what happened next.

The manager, along with two other Walmart employees started walking down aisles in an effort to interact with this man. Once the man realized they were seeking to connect with him, he immediately set down whatever item he'd been holding and walked directly out of the store to his vehicle.

Once the police were called, the situation became even more alarming.

After the man left, the Walmart manager recommended the woman call the police to report the situation. Using the surveillance footage, the police were able to identify the man who was confirmed to be a serial offender in this way.

A look at the photos and videos on his phone revealed he'd done this same violating thing he'd sought to do to her. He has now been charged.

So thankful she was able to see what he was doing and take the necessary steps to keep herself safe. Her action may have also prevented this same thing from happening to other East Texas women.

Although she was asked not to reveal his name, she did share his description:

"He is about 6’ tall, Hispanic, and was wearing a red hat, black sunglasses, a disposable blue mask, a white shirt with Sherwin Williams written across the back and blue jeans."

If you have any info related to this, please contact Detective Amber Thompson at (903) 531-1025.

Hey fellow East Texas Women: Moral of the Story?

Please don't be afraid to speak up or take action if you notice someone watching you--particularly if that watching becomes stalking.

As women, we often try to keep the peace or give people the benefit of the doubt. While there's something lovely about that, we have to take steps to protect ourselves. As awkward and unsure we may feel at the time, often our intuition is warning us about potential danger.

This reminds me of another situation that occurred here in ETX that was of a similar nature several months ago. You can read that story here.

Please be careful.

Tyler Police Department's Most Wanted

There were twelve fugitives on the list that we called the 'Dirty Dozen'. Since then, the list has dwindled down to eight, but we're sure it'll be back to a dozen soon. In the meantime, here are the eight most wanted criminals in Tyler. Each had active warrants as of July 09, 2021

Texas Top 8 Most Wanted (July 2021)

These folks are whats considered the "worst of the worst", the 8 Most Wanted Fugitives in Texas. Everyone on this list has at least a $7,500 reward for their capture but they also should be considered armed and dangerous so don't try to be a hero and "apprehend" these suspects on your own. Alert law enforcement or call Texas DPS at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477).

Texas Crime Statistics By City

Check to see how crime compares in your city versus elsewhere.