Second luring attempt in two weeks reported in Port Townsend


by KING 5 News

Posted on October 10, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 10 at 4:51 PM

A second attempted luring occurred near Blue Heron Middle School in Port Townsend Wednesday, according to police.

An 11-year-old girl said was riding her bicycle about six blocks from the school when a white van stopped and blocked the bicycle lane.

According to police, the girl said the driver rolled down the passenger window and said her mother had asked him to give her a ride.

When the man could not tell the girl her mother's name, she quickly rode her bike towards school.

Port Townsend police say the girl described the van as having three windows down the side, which were obstructed, and two back doors. She also said there may have been a large dog in the vehicle.

Police say the man may be in his 50s, without facial hair but with a nose piercing. The girl said the man was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt low over his face.

Port Townsend PD said the girl didn't report the incident to an adult, but told a friend. The friend told his parents who informed authorities.

An investigation is also underway of a similar incident that took place in Port Townsend last week.

On October 2, police said an 11-year-old boy reported being approached by an older white male on a trail who offered him candy. The boy said the man had white facial hair, was missing front teeth, and wore a blue baseball cap with green writing.

The boy also said the man was driving a white full-sized van with no windows.

After information was released about the Oct. 2nd encounter, a 13-year-old girl said a man in a white van had offered her a ride to the highway last spring.

Port Townsend Police are asking anyone with information about these incidents to call Detective Devin McBride at (360) 390-8938. If a suspicious person or van is seen near children, police advise calling 911 right away.

Port Townsend Police Chief Michael Evans said the reports are concerning, but not cause for panic. Instead, Evans encourages parents to talk to their kids about what they should do in these situations.

Some best practices:
- Stay with a group. Always walk with at least one friend; two or three is even better.
- If a stranger offers you a ride, yell "No!" and stay far away from their car.
- If a stranger follows you on foot, get away from him or her as quickly as you can. You can run and yell loudly, "Help!"
- If a stranger follows you in a car, turn around and go the other direction.
- Never leave school with a stranger.
- Tell a trusted adult if a stranger is hanging around the school, playground, or public bathroom.
- Leave items and clothing that display your name at home so a stranger cannot read it and use it to talk with you.
- If you arrive home alone, call your mother, father, or other trusted adult to let them know you are home and all right. Keep the door locked, don't open the door for strangers, and don't tell strangers that you are home alone.
- Never accept things from a stranger.
- If a stranger asks you a question, don't talk to them. Run away.
- Don't go anywhere with a stranger.