GCPD Addresses “Suspicious Markings” on Cars


(Milledgeville, Ga) — Georgia College Police Chief Brett Stanelle is trying to calm fears after social media posts spark panic about possible sex trafficking on campus.

“We take every investigation seriously,” said Chief Stanelle, adding that his department has been in touch with local police and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations. “Thus far, the investigations have not revealed any evidence that substantiated a potential threat or was indicative of any form of malice intent.”

Photos being shared on social media showing suspicious markings on car windows and windshields both here and at other universities led to the alarm.

“Some of [the markings] were dots, some of them were circles, some of them [appeared to be] similar to numbers or letters,” Stanelle said. “In one case, an abnormal mark was bird droppings.”

Investigators found some of the marks that resemble numbers were placed there when the student had their car serviced.

GCPD officially got nine incident reports affecting 13 students, though the chief says they received many more phone calls.

“Even though we haven’t substantiated a threat, there was a legitimate concern,” said Stanelle. “It put a lot of people on guard, and if someone is responsible for these actions, they should be held accountable for them.”

Most of the affected students are members of GC’s Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) and live at West Campus. His office continues to review security footage.

The chief thinks this incident shows social media’s power and the need for everyone to be careful with believing what they read or see on it.

Despite there being no threat Chief Stanelle is happy the marks were reported. “We would much rather respond to an incident, and there be nothing to it than have missed the opportunity to mitigate a crisis.”

He encourages everyone to download the Rave Guardian App, which will allow you to communicate with GCPD quickly and wherever you are.