Rock Springs Police say they are investigating widespread recent reports of suspicious people hanging out in local stores and businesses.

While police at last report had not arrested anyone in regard to the allegedly suspicious people, they did issue guidelines for staying safe during holiday shopping trips. The steps include the following:

"Street Safety Tips:

• Be aware of your surroundings at all times and trust your instincts. If you think you are in an area you should not be, you probably are.

• Know where you're going and the safest way to get there. Walk/run in well-traveled, well-lit areas avoiding short cuts through alleys and parking lots.

• Always try to park in a well-lit area and back into the parking space for easy exit.

• Avoid parking next to vans or large trucks as they will block the view to your vehicle and surrounding area.

• When in an angled parking lot, walk with the direction of traffic flow in the lot, enabling you to see between parked cars.

• Walk with confidence on the street and in parking lots at a good, steady pace. Keep your head up, observe your surroundings, and don't look down at the ground. DO NOT use your cell phone while walking, be alert.

• When walking back to your car, try not to walk close to other parked cars, try staying in the center of the access way if traffic permits. This will give you more reaction time.

• Have your keys in hand BEFORE walking to your vehicle, but do not lace keys between fingers as that is not effective and will likely hurt your hand.

• Look under your vehicle as you approach for anything out of the ordinary and do a visual scan of your vehicle.

• Keep purses and packages tucked securely between your arms and body. Don't overload yourself with packages and bags – it is distracting and it can make you look defenseless.

• Exercise caution when using ATM machines. Only use ATMs located in well lit, well trafficked areas those physically located in stores are the safest.

If you are approached:

• If someone suspicious approaches your car, honk your car's horn. It's one of the loudest and fastest ways to scare off or let others know that you need help.

• If a car approaches you while you are walking, and you are harassed by the occupants, scream and run in the opposite direction so that the driver will have to turn around to pursue you.

• If you feel that you are being followed, walk or run quickly to a lighted store or where crowds of people can offer help if needed. Know where to go for help -- police station, fire house, etc. Do not go home.

• If you feel like you are being followed in your vehicle, make extra turns (e.g., 4 right turns) and avoid unfamiliar areas of town. If you are still being followed call 911 and be descriptive about the vehicle following you.

• It's a good idea to keep a police whistle on your key chain. If you feel your personal safety is being threatened, follow your instincts. Do anything you can to draw attention. Don't be embarrassed. Scream, yell or blow your whistle.

As always, if you feel you’re in danger call or text 911* immediately or if you need to report a crime contact the Rock Springs Police Department at 307-352-1575.

*In most cases, you should always attempt to make a voice call to 911 prior to sending a text message in an emergency. If you have weak cell service or are unable to speak you can send a text to 911."

While social media descriptions of the supposedly suspicious people have varied, some accounts have described the people as men who were supposedly staring at women and children in Rock Springs stores and businesses.

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