Kamloops RCMP looking for suspicious van that followed kids | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops RCMP looking for suspicious van that followed kids

February 25, 2021 - 2:02 PM

Kamloops RCMP are appealing to the public for help in identifying a suspicious van seen near a school that followed two school children yesterday in the Meadowland Crescent area.

According to a Kamloops RCMP media release, police received a report just before 4 p.m. Feb. 24, that a caravan-style van driven by a man in his 30s with a mohawk and sunglasses had following two school children.

The man in the van circled the block five times and at one point, stopped and stared at the two children. He then drove away when one of the kids took out their cell phone.

Police are asking residents in the Meadowland Crescent and surrounding area to check their home surveillance or dash cams for any images of a white van in the area at roughly the same time.

"If you know who was driving the van, or if you were the driver of the van, it’s very important to contact police so we can further this investigation and find out what is going on," Kamloops RCMP spokesperson Const. Crystal Evelyn said in the release. "While this investigating is still ongoing and we don’t have all the facts and information available at this time, discussing good safety habits and tips is always a good idea."

Anyone with any information is asked to call Kamloops RCMP at 250-828-3000 and reference file 2021-5859.

The RCMP recommends these street-proofing tips to discuss with children:

Everyday Basics:

  • Know your home address and landline phone number
  • Know how to contact your parents on their cell phones or at work
  • Know-how and when to call 9-1-1 in an emergency from a phone
  • Establish a code word for your family. This should be used in emergencies to identify a ‘safe person’ other than their parent or caregiver
  • Play what-if games with younger children to reinforce these safety messages
  • In the Community:
  • Children and teens should play and walk to places with a buddy. If they become separated or lost, they should tell someone with a name tag (for e.g. a cashier or security guard) immediately
  • Avoid conversations with strangers. If someone you do not know asks you personal questions, such as: where do you live, do not answer. Runaway or leave the situation immediately
  • It’s OK to say NO to adults who ask you to do something for them, such as: help them find a lost pet, join them in an activity or game, or give them directions
  • Never walk with or accept a ride, money or gifts from strangers or even someone you may know, without checking with your parents. Keep a safe distance (two arm lengths) from strangers and cars that approach you
  • If a person tries to grab you - scream loudly, make a lot of noise, and try to create a disturbance (e.g. knock things over, scatter belongings, kick wildly). Shout, “Help, this person is not my parent!” Run to a safe location like an open store
  • If a vehicle is involved, try to take get the license plate and a description of the stranger(s) and vehicle(s). Call 9-1-1 for help.
  • If you are taking a public bus, always sit near the bus driver
  • Reduce the use of headphones or use of electronic devices that can distract you from your surroundings when you are walking

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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