Warning after woman followed
A creepy early morning encounter with a stranger in a white van has frightened a Timaru teenager.
Chrystal Boyne was walking home from work recently when she was followed by a man, and she is now speaking out as a warning to others.
The 19-year-old was heading up Matilda St toward Church St when a white trades-type van appeared from the opposite direction.
Chrystal said the van appeared to be turning into Church St but made a late swerve towards her.
"I think he saw me in a streetlight and changed his mind. It was sort of weird as he had already turned and then swerved, like he did not mean to go that way."
The van then approached her, went slowly past and then parked.
"I started to power walk away when I heard the van door open and footsteps follow me, so I just ran."
Chrystal made it around the corner and then hid in a nearby property. She heard the van start up again and it cruised the area for a short time.
"I presume he was looking for me."
Chrystal said she did not get a good look at the man. He was average height and about 30.
"All I remember was he drove a van like a tradesman might have driven, but I didn't get the numberplate because it was dark and I was freaked out. It is not what you expect to happen."
Chrystal said she no longer walked home from her workplace.
"I don't really want to walk anywhere alone at night."
The incident happened on January 23. Chrystal told her mother the next day and then rang the police.
"They told me they had had one other lady with a similar incident."
Chrystal's mother, Barbara Ferry, has since heard of other cases of a man watching children at Caroline Bay from a white van.
"We wanted to get a warning out there for anyone walking alone at night as I don't think Chrystal was a one-off.
"Chrystal was really confident, but this has shaken her up. She is considering looking for another job as she doesn't want to be out on her own alone."
The Timaru Herald