Residents warn people to stay alert after a suspicious encounter in a Mississauga park

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Published August 22, 2023 at 10:06 am

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Ben Machree Park. Photo via Google Maps

Two women posted public warnings to residents after a suspicious encounter in a Mississauga park.

The warnings were posted on community Facebook groups in Port Credit.

The women were in Ben Machree Park, a small, lakeside park in Port Credit, on Aug. 14, one of the women, who did not want to be named, tells insauga.com.

A man approached the woman’s friend who was sitting in the grass with her son. The man asked if she knew what the name of the street was. He was speaking to someone on his phone.

“…she didn’t know so she looked and asked me and this is when he realized I was there,” the woman says.

“I immediately felt like I needed to be closer to (my friend) and my child when I saw him walk over. As someone who has lived in the area my whole life, I find it hard to believe that someone would get lost down Ben Machree area .. if you’re down at that park, it’s on purpose. I genuinely don’t know how he would have gotten there without trying.”

The man was in late 20s to early 30s, slim with a dark brown skin tone, she says. They both wondered why he didn’t use his phone to find the street name.

He walked away and approached another young woman who was walking alone in the park. He asked her the same question but this time he insisted she take his phone.

She tried to walk away, and then a grey minivan pulled up in front of the park with at least three other men. One of the men jumped out of the van and around the vehicle to the side closest to the young woman.

That’s when the women called her over telling her “Come wait with us.”

The young woman felt uneasy and decided to call for a ride home, the woman says.

They then called 311 as they didn’t think the incident qualified as a 911 emergency.

“Honestly we questioned if we should even call it in as nothing actually happened, it was all about how we felt in our guts and feeling like the situation was wrong,” she says.

She was put through to police.

Peel Regional Police media spokesperson Const. Morgan Miller confirmed to insauga.com that they were contacted regarding a suspicious vehicle in the area of Ben Machree Park at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 14.

Police officers searched the area but the vehicle wasn’t located.

While the woman was concerned this could have been an attempt at human trafficking, Morgan says this isn’t a common technique for traffickers.

“As much as this is unusual activity, our VICE unit, has a advised this is not necessarily a common practice,” Morgan said. “However, that does not dismiss this as unusual activity. It is important to stay vigilant and walk away from situations that don’t feel quite right.”

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