Elderly Woman Used as Bait by a Rapist-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

The writer of the email claims to have been warned that rapists were using elderly women to lure unsuspecting victims and abducting the victims at gunpoint.  She says that she was in a parking lot at Target in Wheaton Illinois when an older woman in a car appealed to her for help.  The writer of the email went inside of the store to seek assistance.  The female manager came out to the elderly woman’s car and a masked man jumped out with a gun.  The writer says she remembered receiving an email warning her about this scheme and that the man with the gun was a rapist.  Fortunately, a police officer was nearby and saw the attempted abduction, rescued the manager, and arrested the older woman and the masked man.  The writer warns all other women to be aware of the scam.

The Truth:

This eRumor has circulated since 2005 and is not true.  The Wheaton police say they have never heard of it happening in their city and TruthOrFiction.com has not found any documented evidence that it’s happened anywhere.

To emphasize his or her point, the writer of the email chose Wheaton, Illinois as the location where this potentially violent crime was foiled.  Wheaton is a safe community not from from Chicago that has one of the best crime rates in the nation.

It always pays to be cautious, but this eRumor is either from someone who intentionally created a hoax or from a person who lives in unnecessary fear and wants others to live in fear too.

Updated 5-13-07

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Take care all.

Please pass on to all your girlfriends, wives, etc.  Just to be on the safe side.  Please be aware and pass it on to anyone you think this will help.
This was passed on to me by a friend:
Sunday afternoon around 5 PM I headed into the Target in Wheaton, IL where crime is VERY RARE and mostly it is with bikes being stolen!! It was still light outside and I parked fairly close to the entrance. As I got out of my car and began walking towards Target, an older lady shouted to me from the passenger seat of a car about 30 feet away from me.  “Ma’am you must help me, help me please, help me Ma’am!”  I looked at her in the eyes and started to walk towards her when all of a sudden I remembered an email my Mom had sent me a week or two ago about rapists and abductions using elder people to lure women in. I paused, memorized the license plate and immediately headed into Target to get a manager to come help this lady, just in case something was up. While the woman manager headed out there, I kept a close watch just because I was curious what was wrong with the lady and wanted to be sure nothing happened.
As the Target lady walked up towards the car and got very close to the old woman in order to help her, the back door of the car flies open and a large man with a stocking cap on, jumps out and sticks a gun to the lady’s stomach as he shoves her into the back of the car.  I yelled out “call 911” several times and just as I was saying that, a policeman who happened to be on the other side of the parking lot!  And who, luckily had seen the entire thing happen, raced over to the car.  He was able to stop the car and arrest the male as well as the old lady, who was involved in the scheme.

By God’s grace everyone was all right, including myself, although I think we were both shaken up.  Like many of you, I would not in a million years have left an elderly person who was yelling for help if it weren’t for the e-mail I had read last week.  So, I wanted to pass this along so you all can be aware and remember that you really can’t trust anyone these days.  You just never know when something like this could happen.  I would have never dreamed it to happen to me especially on a Sunday afternoon at a Target in a safe area!  It definitely was not a coincidence that my Mom sent that email just a few days before this all happened.

Please, be careful and always be aware of your surroundings.  Just because you individually don’t go over to help someone doesn’t mean you have to leave them in trouble, but don’t go ALONE, you really don’t know what might be going on.