Beware of your surroundings. That's the warning from a Central New York mother after her son witnessed a strange man putting zip ties on a woman's car.

"My son saw a man go up to a woman’s car in Yorkville after she walked into the building, put a zip tie on her car and leave the parking lot immediately," explained Mandy.

The man is described as being in his 20s, thin, with dark hair. He was wearing dark sunglasses, a red shirt and was driving a gray SUV. "I have no idea what it was about, but it’s more than concerning."

Some people believe zip ties on car mirrors are a sex trafficking signal but this is just an old myth that has been circulating for a few years. Police say there's no evidence the zip ties have anything to do with human trafficking.

Whether it's sex trafficking or just a hoax, the owner of the business where it happened isn't taking it lightly. "The owner came to my house with a security video to talk to my son and was headed to the police station," said Mandy.

The surveillance video showed the man’s vehicle pulling into the parking lot, him quickly going to a woman's car door, and then leaving. "My son took the zip tie off the woman's car and went inside to find the owner of the car to let them know what had happened."

Mandy isn't sure what happened either but she's happy her son noticed it and spoke up. "If my son didn’t see it happen, didn’t say anything, and the woman wasn’t aware to pay attention when she left, something may have happened to her."

The situation could have been a lot worse and Mandy wants others to be aware. Aware of the situation and aware of their surroundings. "Take note of cars around you for people inside. Pay attention to the cars parked at the end of a lot where there is no one else. Check your car before getting in and when you get in, don’t sit and check your phone or find radio stations. Lock the door and leave immediately. We all need to be more mindful of our safety and the safety of others when we can."

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