Greenwich Police report that on Monday, Aug 22 around 3:00pm, officers responded to a report of a suspicious incident involving a white van in Old Greenwich.
According to a statement from Captain Mark Zuccerell, it was reported that a 12-year-old female was walking in the area of Sound Beach Avenue and Center Drive at the time of the incident. The girl stated a white van operated by two males stopped alongside her and asked her to get into the van. An unknown person was nearby who saw the incident and reportedly scared off the van. There was no physical contact made with the girl, and no overt actions were made by the males to stop and get out of the van. The intent of the males currently is unknown at this time.
The Greenwich Police Department takes incidents like this seriously in order to ascertain what transpired. Detectives from our Detective Division are currently investigating this incident further. We are asking anyone who may have witnessed this incident to call 203-622-8004.
With the start of school next week, we want to take this time to remind parents to speak with their children regarding being aware of their surroundings and how to be prepared to handle an incident such as this:
- Safety is always best in numbers. Advise your child to walk to and from school or the playground with a buddy.
- If your child feels that he or she is being followed and they have a cell phone, they should immediately call 911.
- Never talk to a stranger. Strangers with bad intentions try to trick kids into helping them. Kids should never talk or answer their questions. If they do answer, it should be something along the lines of “go ask an adult” or “I do not know I am only a kid.”
- Teach your child to think on their feet. They need to keep distance from strangers and not let someone get close enough that they could grab or touch them.
- Advise them to run or walk quickly towards an area where they see people, such as a shopping center, a home with someone outside, a busy roadway, or a park where they see people. They should never walk into an alley or location that further isolates them.
- Know your child’s walking/riding path to and from school. Determine a path together that is visible, even if it’s a slightly longer route home.
- Go directly to your destination. Pay attention to where you are going. Talking or texting on your cell phone is a good way to pass the time while you’re walking, but it can distract you from noticing what’s going on around you.
- Be aware of surroundings – who is behind you and in front of you. Are there occupied cars parked along your route?
- If someone approaches you or tries to get your attention, get away immediately. Cross the street or walk the other way.