Buncombe government posts warning of gangs using car seats as lures; Snopes.com calls it “false”

Buncombe County’s website asks: You See a Baby on the Side of the Road – Would YOU Stop?

The site continues:

Buncombe County Crime Prevention says “If citizens see something like this, they should call local law enforcement and let them investigate it.”

With that in mind, read the following:

There is a gang initiation that has been reported by some police departments that involves placing a car seat by the road with a fake baby in it waiting for a someone to stop and check on the baby. The car seat is usually placed near a wooded or grassy field and the person who stops (most likely a woman) will be dragged into the woods, beaten, raped and left for dead.

Like our Crime Prevention Office says, do not stop. Dial 911 and report it.

But snopes.com “Rumor has it” site says the car-seat story is an old and false story. The site reports: “We have not turned up any reports of any gangs (much less simultaneous efforts by gangs all across the country) using car seats as lures to entice motorists out of their vehicles, nor do any of our police contacts recall encountering any such activity.”

Thanks to @transitiontown on Twitter for the heads-up about this story.

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About Jeff Fobes
As a long-time proponent of media for social change, my early activities included coordinating the creation of a small community FM radio station to serve a poor section of St. Louis, Mo. In the 1980s I served as the editor of the "futurist" newsletter of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome, a professional/academic group with a global focus and a mandate to act locally. During that time, I was impressed by a journalism experiment in Mississippi, in which a newspaper reporter spent a year in a small town covering how global activities impacted local events (e.g., literacy programs in Asia drove up the price of pulpwood; soybean demand in China impacted local soybean prices). Taking a cue from the Mississippi journalism experiment, I offered to help the local Green Party in western North Carolina start its own newspaper, which published under the name Green Line. Eventually the local party turned Green Line over to me, giving Asheville-area readers an independent, locally focused news source that was driven by global concerns. Over the years the monthly grew, until it morphed into the weekly Mountain Xpress in 1994. I've been its publisher since the beginning. Mountain Xpress' mission is to promote grassroots democracy (of any political persuasion) by serving the area's most active, thoughtful readers. Consider Xpress as an experiment to see if such a media operation can promote a healthy, democratic and wise community. In addition to print, today's rapidly evolving Web technosphere offers a grand opportunity to see how an interactive global information network impacts a local community when the network includes a locally focused media outlet whose aim is promote thoughtful citizen activism. Follow me @fobes

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9 thoughts on “Buncombe government posts warning of gangs using car seats as lures; Snopes.com calls it “false”

  1. Adam

    There really needs to be mandatory fact checking before something like that gets posted. Completely irresponsible!

  2. Dionysis

    Buncombe County Hoax Crime Prevention Office hard at work. Thanks to their efforts, chances are no one will fall for this ploy.

  3. Jeff Fobes

    Via 9/6 email from Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell:
    “This was circulated from the City of Asheville, too, and I immediately replied with the two Snopes links (baby seats and eggs on windshields).

    “Somehow, one might imagine, that at this late date in the Web world, responsible people would check out such weird e-mails before forwarding them.

    “But, that involves hope for intelligent life on earth, which is an interesting conjecture but sadly lacking in substantive proof.”

  4. Tom, these stories have been around for ages. Either they gangs don’t have the internets or even they think it’s a dumb idea.

  5. me

    Send this blog to 25 people in the next 25 minutes and something cool will happen . Come on county people , really ?! Of all the urban legends you choose one of the dumbest to warn us about .

  6. pff

    Also, if someone flashed their brights at you, don’t flash back. It will be gang bangers and they will kill you.

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