The Portage County Sheriff's Office is urging residents to be wary of suspicious vehicles and people after a woman reported a suspicious incident she encountered in the area of Sandy Lake and Lakewood roads in Rootstown on Dec. 12.
Detective Lt. Greg Johnson said a motorist reported stopping at a stop sign at the intersection, also called the "five points" area because it is the intersection of five roads, at about 7:30 p.m. that night. In front of her was a car with at least two men in it.
While stopped, the men in the car got out for unknown reasons. Johnson said the woman reported becoming frightened, not knowing their intent, and backed her car up and away from the scene. The men got back in their car and left the area.
The men never had any contact with the woman, did not threaten her, assault her or attempt to get into her vehicle, Johnson said.
"She was worried and alone in her car by herself at the time, it was 7:30 p.m. and dark. She got concerned, backed up, and they got in their car and left," he said.
As a precaution, the sheriff's office posted additional deputies in the area to deter or detect additional suspicious activity.
The incident quickly was reported and shared among Facebook users in the following week. Two other people reported it to the Record-Courier during that time.
Johnson asked anyone who sees or experiences suspicious circumstances such as these to "immediately dial 911" and report it to the sheriff's office. Motorists also are encouraged to lock their car doors while traveling, even in rural areas, and keep a safe distance from other vehicles at stop lights and stop signs.
Deputies will be making more frequent patrols in the area just in case, Johnson said.
"When we hear about it, we look into it. We don't discount anything," he said. "Could (the men) have been planning some foul play? Who knows?"
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