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Lake County Sheriff's Office says reports of sex trafficking in Painesville are false

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Posted at 9:34 PM, Jul 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-08 22:02:16-04

The Lake County Sheriff's Office is addressing what it calls false alerts over social media about sex trafficking at the Giant Eagle in Painesville Township.

According to the sheriff's office, the posts allege women are being followed through the store by sex traffickers who have vehicles waiting outside to take them away when they leave.

The sheriff's office also said some posts allege deputies have responded to some of these reports, viewed video footage and confirmed that women are being followed in the store.

However, authorities maintain that this is false.

In a post on their Facebook page, Lake County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Frank Leonbruno says the department has not responded to the Giant Eagle to investigate such allegations. 

He also mentions that months ago the department responded to the store location to speak to a woman who thought she had been followed the day before and wanted to report her concern, but that the report had no details pertaining to sex traffickers or a vehicle waiting in the parking lot. 

Authorities say Giant Eagle management also confirm there have been no other reports of woman being followed through the store. 

The sheriff's office would like to reiterate that there are no current reports of any missing persons in the area, there are no reports of women being followed, and that they take human trafficking very seriously, as it is a national problem.