Sheriff's office: Reports of kidnapping for sex trafficking trade at Lake County store are untrue

PAINESVILLE TOWNSHIP, OH (WOIO) - The Lake County Sheriff's Office is debunking recent social posts alleging that women are bring stalked at a local Giant Eagle and then kidnapped for use in the illegal sex trafficking industry.

The posts specifically mention the Painesville Township grocer location, according to the sheriff's office.

"The posts allege that women are being followed through the store by sex traffickers who have waiting vehicles outside the store to snatch them up when they are leaving and whisk them away, never to be seen again," according to the Facebook post from the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Chief Deputy Frank Leonbruno disputed the claims on social media that state the sheriff's office has responded to the Painesville Township Giant Eagle on numerous occasions to view surveillance video.

"We have not responded to Giant Eagle to investigate such an allegation, have not reviewed any camera footage of women being followed through the store, and we have taken no reports nor have any reason to believe that sex traffickers are targeting our area Giant Eagle," says Chief Deputy Leonbruno on Facebook.

The sheriff's office did confirm a woman believed she was being followed in the store months ago, but there have been no reports of any missing persons in Lake County.

According to the Ohio Human Trafficking Commission, more than 100,000 children are thought to be involved in the sex trafficking trade.

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