Sex Trafficking in Greensburg

Madison Cherrington, Features Editor


     In the past week there have been multiple sightings of men roaming around the Greensburg area in a white van. They are suspected to be involved with sex trafficking and have been on the hunt for young women. As a young woman myself, I find it important to make sure that all women in the Westmoreland County are aware of this and to pay close attention to their surroundings.

      People have been commonly seeing these men creeping through the women’s department of several stores. Sources say that they are in their late 40’s to early 50’s.

        The first known sighting of these men was at the Ross in Greensburg. A mother and her teen daughter’s were being followed by “several” men in a white van. As they were leaving, the men continued to follow them and they immediately noticed that their van had been parked three parking spaces over from them. They contacted police and had been notified that they had already been aware and were currently following them in unmarked vehicles.

        This van had been seen at Gabe’s in Greensburg as well the next day. The police were notified repeatedly and had apparently already been on the police radar for following young girls. This van was spotted in Greensburg at Walmart, Marshall’s, Burlington, and Target as well all in the past week.

        It is very important to keep a close eye out for these men. The license plate number to this vehicle is HKW2260. Sex trafficking is very real and it is important to stay attentive at all times. Make sure to spread the word and inform your friends and family.

        There are multiple ways to help avoid these situations. First, be aware of your surroundings and know what to look for. Human trafficking training is available and also self defense. These disgusting acts, can happen anywhere and by anyone. Even the most legitimate and genuine people may be the ones that you can’t trust. If you see a man in the car next to you that seems questionable in a circumstance like this, go through your passenger side door and crawl across to the drivers side. It may seem like a bit of a stretch, but you’re better safe than sorry. There have been many cases of women getting into their car and then being pulled into the car next to them. Also, always be aware. Look around you. If something doesn’t feel right call 911 or someone you trust. Try not to go places alone or in low populated areas. The more people around you, the better, especially at night. Another common way sex traffickers try to lure you in is by pretending to be undercover police officers. If you are being pulled over by an unmarked vehicle and the reason isn’t apparent, call 911 and double check to make sure that there are cops in the area. Do not pull over. They do this to pull over young women in desolate areas and then will kidnap you into sex trafficking. Parking lots, alleys, quiet neighborhoods, and stores are very common places for sex traffickers to be luring. Stay alert!

         Sadly, sex trafficking is our reality and women of all ages must take precautions. There are sick people in the world and anything is possible. Do not trust everyone you meet. You may be thinking…”this could never happen to me”, but that’s not always the case. 1.2 million victims are sold and trafficked each year in the United States. This happens everywhere and everyday. Try to educate yourself, and most importantly, stay safe.