Please be aware

Posted: May 19, 2014

Parents: Please be advised that there have been reports lately of a white van or SUV following children outside and potentially video recording them. The most recent report was located near Lahser and 15 mile. The child involved described the vehicle as a large white vehicle, either a van or SUV, and say that the driver is a white male, bald, with facial hair, and roughly 40 to 50 years old.

With warmer weather approaching, it is important to speak with your child about strangers, especially if they will be walking or riding their bike alone in the neighborhood. The National Crime Prevention Council has some suggestions on speaking with your child about strangers: http://www.ncpc.org/topics/violent-crime-and-personal-safety/strangers.

Here are some general guidelines for basic safety outdoors:

  • Know where you're going and the safest way to get there.
  • Always tell an adult where you're going and what time you'll be back. Whenever possible, travel with a friend or group of friends.
  • Take special care when walking, jogging or biking. Avoid isolated areas and don't wear headphones or text while walking. Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts.

If you think you're being followed:

  • It is okay to show you are suspicious and look at the person. It will send a clear message that you are aware of them and will also give you an opportunity to see what they look like for a police report.
  • Change directions. If someone is following you on foot, cross the street and vary your pace. If the person is following you in a car, turn and walk in the opposite direction, since they will be forced to make a u-turn.
  • Go to the nearest store or public place, such as a park or busy intersection. If there isn't a store or public area nearby, keep moving and don't be afraid to yell for help or make other noise to draw attention to the situation.

Please report anything suspicious to the police as quickly as possible and provide as much detail as you can. Thank you for your cooperation and support!