WATERVILLE — Police have increased their patrol presence at Waterville Commons and Elm Plaza after receiving reports of suspicious men harassing women in the Walmart parking lot.

Deputy Chief Bill Bonney said the department received several calls Monday and were notified of posts on Facebook detailing the harassment.

One woman warned other women and told them to pay attention while shopping in Walmart because a man had approached her in the parking lot while she was with her two daughters and began asking her “strange questions” including asking her for her phone number and whether the woman’s husband was “chocolate,” and, if not, that she should “invest in one.”

The man apparently did not leave the woman alone after she declined to give her number, police said.

The woman writing a Facebook post added that a friend of hers had texted her shortly after that and said she had she received similar treatment.

The police learned at 9:57 a.m. Monday of the first of such incidents in which a black man was approaching women and asking strange questions in the parking lot.

Bonney said an officer patrolled the area on foot but wasn’t able to find anyone matching the description given by the women.

A second complaint of a similar incident was reported to police at 3:37 p.m. The complainant reported that two black men were approaching women in the Walmart parking lot. Two police officers patrolled the area again and still did not find any suspects. The cart wranglers who were working outside at the time told the officers they did not witness such a crime.

Bonney said he is sending extra officers to the area and is asking that anyone who is subjected to such harassment or witnesses harassment call the police immediately after it takes place.

Emily Higginbotham — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @EmilyHigg

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