Police warn schools after van spotted

ALEX FENSOME
Last updated 05:00 07/12/2012

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Police have circulated a notice to all schools in Invercargill after reports that the driver of a white van allegedly behind two attempted abductions of teenage girls, was approaching young children.

Some schools and early childhood education centres passed on the note to parents on Wednesday amid concern over the incidents.

However, the reports had since proved not to be linked to the two attempted abductions in the Windsor area, police said.

The note says a van driven by a man matching the description of the attempted abductor has been seen approaching children.

"There have been incidents where the male occupant has stopped and spoken to children and on at least two occasions has asked them if they wanted a ride," the note, signed by acting Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Bowman, says.

"Police are asking if you could reinforce to your pupils the need to be observant for suspicious behaviour from persons or vehicles at all times and if approached by any persons unknown to them offering them a ride, they should not accept this offer."

Detective Scott Mackenzie said yesterday that the notice was produced after a report of a white van approaching young children at the weekend. However, inquiries had established that this was not linked to the two earlier incidents.

The initial warnings had gone to high schools based on the age of the girls approached, but this was widened after the report involving young children, he said.

On November 15, a man with grey hair in a white van allegedly tried to abduct a 17-year-old girl in Layard St, Windsor. He grabbed her arm, but the girl ran away.

On Sunday, another 17-year-old girl was targeted by a man in his 50 or 60s with grey-silver hair in a white van with tinted windows. She also managed to evade him.

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