Perth County OPP officers have released suspect and vehicle descriptions as they investigate a child luring incident in Listowel.
According to police, an 11-year-old girl was walking home from school around 3:30 p.m. Monday near the intersection of Nichol Avenue South and Main Street when a white van pulled up alongside her.
“A passenger in the van opened up the passenger side door,” Cst. Jamie Stanley tells AM980,
“Called out to the girl and said ‘hey, get in! I have a lot of candy in here if you come with us for a ride’. The girl kept her distance, refused the offer, and took off running home whereupon she immediately reported the incident to her father.”
Police patrolled the area but the van and the suspects in it were not found.
The suspect passenger is described as a white man in his 30s with a brown beard, wearing a black ski mask, large black hat, black winter coat, black snow pants, black mitts, and black boots.
The vehicle is described as a white passenger van, possibly an older model Ford Econoline or a similar looking van with several scratches and rust spots on the passenger side door and large side mirrors.
“Whether this was intended as a joke or whether this was a serious threat to this girl’s safety remains to be seen but certainly we got to treat it seriously,” Cst. Stanley adds.
“This girl did 100% the right thing. She kept her distance, she went home, she immediately reported it to a parent and she did provide a fair amount of detail to our officers. So, great job by this young girl.”
Police are also using this incident as a reminder to parents and guardians to have a discussion with children about “stranger safety” and what to do if confronted by a stranger.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Perth County OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or, to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).