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Wave of social media posts about attempted gas station abductions unfounded, Anoka Co. Sheriff says

Morning headlines from Nov. 29, 2023
Morning headlines from Nov. 29, 2023 01:56

ANOKA, Minn. — Law enforcement leaders in the north metro are speaking out after a series of online posts about attempted abductions went viral.

The Anoka County Sheriff's Office took to X, formerly Twitter, on Tuesday to "clarify some allegations" posted to social media about kidnapping attempts at county gas stations.

The sheriff's office says it hasn't received any reports of such incidents.

The allegations appear to be part of a hoax that originated online last year, according to the fact-checking website Snopes.

MORE: Minneapolis police still searching for suspects who kidnapped and robbed victim on U campus

The posts are often tinged with racism, with most claiming "an Arab woman" is going to Kwik Trip gas stations in the Upper Midwest in a vehicle with tinted windows, where she asks other customers for help pumping gas. Her accomplice then jumps out and tries to kidnap the customer.

Snopes reports several Minnesota cities were involved in last year's hoax, including St. Francis. Police in that city took to social media in March 2022 to dispel the rumors.

The Anoka County Sheriff's Office reminds citizens to call 911 if they feel unsafe in public, and to "always be alert of your surroundings."

MORE: Police investigating attack of Muslim woman at Minneapolis gas station

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