Suspicious van sparks police patrols in Dundee
In a post to the NextDoor app in late December, a woman warned neighbors about a suspicious white van that pulled up near her young granddaughter on the corner of First and Dogwood streets in Dundee.
The woman described an older, white van that drove slowly past the child and opened a door, which caused her to run away screaming for fear of potentially being kidnapped.
The post was shared in the Newberg-Dundee Citizens Info Group by Facebook user Shannon Green, who urged parents to be on the look out for suspicious activity in the area.
The original poster on NextDoor contacted local law enforcement about the incident, which sparked an investigation by the Newberg-Dundee Police Department.
NDPD Public Information Officer Brian Hagen said the first call about the van – and subsequent NextDoor post – prompted a neighbor to call about a similar-looking white van parked near Billick Park in Dundee.
"There was not a clear enough description of the original van or person to follow up on and it was apparently gone when officers checked the area," Hagen said. "The Billick Park van was identified via a license plate and at this time is not likely involved with the original complaint."
There were worries by Facebook commenters about the van at Billick Park being the one that followed the young girl near Dogwood, but the two vans appear to be unrelated according to local police.
Still, Hagen praised the actions of the young girl in question during the incident and the adults who supported her.
"Whether the incident was innocent or not, the youngster did the right thing by getting away from the stranger and alerting a trusted adult, who then notified police," Hagen said.
Citizens are encouraged to contact police if they witness any similar activity in the coming weeks, but for now the police department is increasing its patrols in the area and remaining wary, Hagen said.
There haven't been similar incidents, Hagen said, that would warrant any major concern at this time.
He added that people should remain aware of their surroundings and be prepared to contact authorities if necessary should a situation like this present itself.
"At this time, there is not enough of a lead to pursue other than our increased awareness and patrols in the area," he said. "There has not been any identified patterns or string of similar complaints about 'luring' activity in the area but teaching children to stay alert is always encouraged."
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