Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
Disturbing pictures of an injured kindergartner from Pascagoula have made a mother's call for action go viral online.More >>
Disturbing pictures of an injured kindergartner from Pascagoula have made a mother's call for action go viral online. Friends and family of a Pascagoula kindergarten student have created a Facebook page and GoFundMe.com account claiming the girl was attacked on the playground this week by another student.More >>
A fearful mother says she watched an unknown man take pictures of her 17-year-old as he followed them inside the Cape Girardeau Wal-Mart store.
It's something police are looking into. Surveillance video reportedly shows a man following Stacey Birk and her daughter.
While they were not harmed physically, Birk says it left her emotionally shaken and scared.
"We felt uncomfortable we both feel like this shouldn't be happening," said Birk.
Birk says she still gets chills when she thinks about what happened at Wal-Mart on Tuesday. She says a man followed her and her teenage daughter around the store.
"She looked down at the floor at the perfume she was interested in," said Birk. " When she was bent I noticed he came around the corner and snapped the picture. I said oh my God Taylor, he just took a picture of your rear end."
Birk says the man continued to follow them and other shoppers noticed, and eventually she spoke up.
"I said I know you have a picture of her on that phone and the lady says we saw you, and he said I don't know what you're talking about," said Birk.
Not long after that the man darted out of the store. Birk alerted Wal-Mart employees and says managers told her video showed the man followed the mother and daughter for quite a while. She fears what could have happened.
"Predators, that's what comes to mind predators," said Birk. "He was an older guy she's 17, he wasn't snapping her face he was snapping her bottom."
Police are not releasing the surveillance video because following someone around a store is not a crime but they say Birk was absolutely right to let them know.
"You have to go beyond that to commit a crime, but it's still something we need to know about," said Cape Girardeau Patrolman Darin Hickey.
Hickey says too many times people wait until it's too late to call them. He says police understand Birk's fear.
"We are here for you if you need us to come out and talk to you to make you feel more comfortable," said Hickey. "We are glad to do that."
Birk says the man was in his 50s or 60s wearing jeans and a t-shirt, and tall with a medium build, and a ruddy complexion.
Police say being alerted to this incident helps them be proactive instead of reactive.