Police offer tips to parents after man approaches kids in Chatham
Chatham-Kent police are investigating a suspicious vehicle in the area and providing tips to parents on preventing child abductions.
A nine-year-old girl was walking home from school on Monday in the Orchard Heights area when the driver of a vehicle yelled ‘Hey.’
Police say the suspect vehicle was a white four-door car with tinted windows, lots of paint scratches and a dent on the driver’s side front door near the middle. The driver was a man in his mid-30s with short dark hair, who was wearing a black ball cap at the time.
Police started an investigation when they were notified on Tuesday. Officers say the man did not say anything else to the child and there was no physical contact. There was no evidence to substantiate that her safety was in jeopardy.
There was another incident on Thursday morning near Indian Creek Public School. Police were called for a suspicious vehicle that approached a 12-year-old boy walking to school.
Police say the driver asked the boy if he wanted a ride to school. The boy began running to school and the vehicle followed. The driver asked again if he wanted a ride. The student continued to run to the school.
Police say the man had a deep voice and the vehicle was described as an older white Chevrolet Impala style car with very dark tinted windows, scratches on the driver’s door and dark rims.
Officers did not find the vehicle in a search of the area.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Const. Kate McArthur at 519-380-6598 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Chatham-Kent police Service are offering safety tips for parents talking to their children about these types of incidents:
- Empower your children to trust their instincts. If they feel like they are being followed or something is just not right, encourage them to see help immediately.
- If a stranger approaches them, remind them:
- that they are not obliged to talk
- never approach a stranger sitting in a motor vehicle
- just keep walking
- do not accept candy or agree to look for a lost animal
- never get into a stranger’s vehicle.
- If your child is grabbed by a stranger, make sure they understand that they are to do everything physically possible to get away or attract the attention of others who can help.