The Rye City Schools issued a report by Rye PD Commish Connors this afternoon about a 10 year old girl who was approached by a man in a white van while walking to Midland School. In mid-January of this year police in Greenwich reported two attempted abductions (our word) from a man driving a white van.
Talk to your kids about stranger danger. Here is the statement released by the Commish:
Police Commissioner Connors has provided the following letter and requested that we send it to our school community:
This week we received a report of a suspicious incident involving a 10-year-old child walking to school. While she was walking through the parking lot of 200 Forest Avenue enroute to a path leading to Midland School, the girl reported that a white van stopped about 10 to 20 feet away from her. The driver stepped out of the vehicle and motioned for her to approach, and said "Are you..?" He was described as a male, white or Hispanic, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and ripped jeans, and having a tattoo on his right forearm. There was no physical attempt to reach out, touch, or pursue the girl. She fled and continued to school.
Our investigation of this incident has been inconclusive thus far. No crime was committed, but our policy is to ensure that our residents are as fully informed as possible. As many of you know from our handling of prior incidents, we make every effort to provide you with appropriate and accurate information.
There is no cause for alarm, but it is a good time to continue a routine, ongoing dialogue with your children about basic safety precautions. We live in a remarkably safe community, but crimes against children can happen anywhere, and at any time; they are unpredictable. Teaching children how to protect themselves should not be crisis-driven; ideally, defensive behavior should be part of their routine.
Most importantly, if you observe suspicious activity, it is absolutely critical that you call the police without delay. If a crime is taking place, our mission is to respond quickly enough to prevent it or to apprehend a suspect and rescue a potential victim. If a crime has not taken place, it is equally important that we are notified quickly, so that we can determine that the incident is unfounded and prevent the spread of alarming but incorrect information. We rely on the information you provide, and welcome the opportunity to respond.
Rest assured that we respond vigorously to suspicious incidents involving children, and will continue to work with the school district to ensure that parents are kept informed when necessary.
Very truly yours,
William R. Connors