West Kelowna RCMP is investigating a third report in which a male youth was asked to enter a stranger’s vehicle.
On Dec. 2, around 6 p.m., officers received a report that a 15-year-old boy had been asked by a man if he wanted to get in his van.
The youth was in a parking lot in the 1700 block of Ross Road in West Kelowna when a man driving a newer red minivan drove up to him and asked him a question.
Unable to hear the driver, the youth approached the van and the man then asked if he wanted to get in the vehicle. The youth declined and the driver left the area.
The driver is described as a Caucasian male in his 30s with a full beard and no moustache. He was wearing a black baseball hat and driving a newer red minivan.
“West Kelowna RCMP would like to speak with this male in hopes to clarify what events transpired,” States Cst. Lesley Smith, Kelowna RCMP “At this point in the investigation our officers are unable to confirm if this interaction was related to other recent reports and therefore we will continue to assess all evidentiary avenues.”
The first incident happened on on Nov. 27 after a 11-year-old girl was approached by a man along Cougar Road in West Kelowna.
The second incident happened on Dec. 1 after a 10-year-old girl was offered a ride by a man driving a silver vehicle. According to the RCMP, the young girl was walking westbound on Pritchard Drive near Barona Beach when a man drove up beside her and asked if she wanted a ride.
In light of recent concerning reports involving suspicious vehicles and possible child luring, RCMP is reminding parents and youth to be extremely cautious and offered the following safety tips:
When you are out alone, be prepared for anything that may put you at risk
- Keep your head up, stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
- Take note of the people, businesses and sources of assistance in the area.
- Avoid a person or a situation which does not feel safe.
When walking, jogging, biking alone
- Plan your route to avoid isolated areas.
- Vary your route, don’t be predictable.
- Walk near a curb and away from alleys and doorways.
Don’t overburden yourself with heavy parcels or a bulky purse
- Use a money belt or pouch to conceal money and important documents.
- Don’t display cash in public.
- Always carry personal identification, medical and emergency contact information with you.
When travelling at night
- Wear reflective gear.
- If riding on transit, ask the driver whether you can be let off closer to your destination.
What to do
- If you believe you are being followed, cross the street, go to the nearest group of people or business and call the police.
- If you are suddenly confronted by a predator who demands that you go with him, run away, yell for help, throw a rock through a store or car window – do whatever you can to attract attention.
- If the criminal is after your purse or other material items, throw them one way while you run the other way.
- If you are robbed/assaulted:Try to take note of what the suspect(s) looks like and their direction of travel. Physical descriptors such as: height/weight, clothing, and visible markings like scars, tattoos or piercings can help the police in later identifying the suspect. Call police as soon as it is safe to do so.
- For more information on Personal Safety click here or visit www.bcrcmp.ca website.