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HPD says warning about gang activity is bogus email

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Oahu residents are being warned by Honolulu police that the department does not typically send out emails warning people about gang-related activity and that a recent spate of warnings ostensibly from HPD are bogus.

Most information HPD wants to disseminate to the public is relayed by the department through official media releases, or via Honolulu Crimestoppers, the HPD Facebook page, and notifications through Nixle’s text and email notification system, HPD spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter said.

A recent chain letter making its way to Oahu-based email addresses prompted HPD to issue today’s  advisory.

One version of the rambling email is titled "Honolulu Police Department (HPD) Warning." It warns the email’s recipients to "DON’T STOP!!!" if they see an infant car seat on the side of the road. The letter explains that one person who alerted police about the car seat on the road was told "gangs and thieves are now plotting different ways to get a person (mostly women) to stop their vehicle and get out of the car."

Women who stop "will be dragged into the woods, beaten and raped, and usually left for dead!" the email said. Men are "usually beaten and robbed and maybe (sic) left for dead, too," the email said.

The email also warns motorists not to stop their cars if raw eggs are thrown on their windshields "BECAUSE EGGS MIXED WITH WATER BECOME MILKY AND BLOCK YOUR VISION, AND YOU ARE THEN FORCED TO STOP BESIDE THE ROAD AND BECOME A VICTIM OF THESE CRIMINALS."

A search of the hoax-busting Web sites scopes.com and urbanlegends.about.com show the fake email messages first circulated in 2009.

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