No evidence that anyone was trying to take children, police say
RNC Const. Steven Curnew told reporters Monday things have gotten out of hand since the police issued a public warning last week about possible child luring.
“We think that the social media has taken this and really blown it out of proportion. It’s created a lot of panic in parents,” Curnew said. “If we had any reason to believe that there was child abductions going on, we would put out an alert. We would heavily advise. We would be all over the media.”
A week ago, the police issued an advisory warning parents to talk about safety with their children following reports that an older man or more than one man were driving around trying to lure children into a vehicle by offering a ride or candy.
The advisory was mostly giving tips for parents to teach their kids — never enter the house or car of a stranger, for example — but since then, they’ve been getting a lot of response from the public, Curnew said.
“We’ve received probably three or four more complaints the weekend past. All these complaints that have come into us, the majority of them are by the parents, but are the children’s recollection — very little information given,” he said. “It’s hard for us to do an investigation. Now, some of the information that has come into us has involved licence plates and good descriptions of the vehicles. We have spoken to these people and have seen that there’s no wrongdoing here.”
In one case, the police received a call simply because somebody saw a car on their street they didn’t recognize, Curnew said.
“He was simply out visiting his relative, but because he wasn’t from the area, the call came in to us saying it was a suspicious vehicle,” he said.
Curnew said the original report police received was about a green Jeep, but as more and more reports come in to the RNC, that’s changing, too.
“The array of calls that we have coming in have absolutely no commonality or similarity to them,” he said. “What started to be a green Jeep has now gone to a black pickup, has gone to a white this, a purple that.”
He said the police have no evidence that something criminal has happened. All the same, parents talking to children about safety is still a good idea, Curnew said.