Sheriff's Office fields calls about suspicious white van

March 20, 1994|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Sun Staff Writer

A white van whose driver allegedly has tried to lure schoolchildren into the vehicle has Harford law enforcement authorities scurrying to handle reports of sightings of the vehicle.

The Sheriff's Office received complaints earlier this month that the driver had tried to lure children into a white van in the Camelot and Parsons Ridge developments.

Alerting the public about a suspicious vehicle following school .. children is a difficult decision, said Deputy 1st Class DeWayne Curry, the spokesman for the Sheriff's Office.

"On one hand, you want to let parents know to be alert, but you don't want to cause panic or hysteria," he said.

Since announcing last week that Harford residents should be on the lookout for a white van with a sandy-haired, white male driver, the Sheriff's Office has handled more than 60 calls.

Sheriff's deputies followed one driver of a white van and found he was delivering dry cleaning in the neighborhood. Another caller alerted deputies to a man in a white van waiting outside a school; he was there to pick up his own children.

Some callers have heard only partial reports and want more information, Deputy Curry said, while others had heard rumors of the abduction of three children and had to be reassured that no crime had occurred.

"It's good that people help by calling police," said Deputy Curry.

"We check out as many reports as we can. Sooner or later, we'll find the suspect, or he will stop following kids. And, either way, that's good."

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