Male strangers offering young girls rides prompt warning from Alberni RCMP

Police warn of three separate incidents of children being approached by strangers in the Alberni Valley.

Port Alberni RCMP are investigating a series of incidents in which several local children were approached by unknowns motorists and offered rides to their schools and homes.

“Police wish to ensure that the community is aware of these three occurrences, and are reminding parents to ensure their children are following basic safety practices to protect themselves,” RCMP Corp. Jen Allan said in a press release.

On Feb. 15, a 13-year-old girl was walking home from school on Highway 4 near the Tseshaht Market when a white pickup truck stopped beside her. The driver, a Caucasian male in his 50s, asked the girl if she would like a ride home.  Not knowing the man the girl wisely declined the lift, and the male drove off. The vehicle was described as a white Toyota Tundra truck without a canopy, however no license plate was obtained.

On Feb. 23 at approximately 3:30 p.m., two 10-year-old girls were walking home from Maquinna Elementary on Neill Street when they noticed a white pickup truck with two men in it following them. The truck stopped behind them at one point, then slowly drove by them at which point the male passenger smiled and waved at them.

No words were exchanged but the girls were frightened by this unusual activity.

The two Caucasian males are estimated to be between 30-40 years of age. The driver was wearing a red toque and the passenger a ball cap.  The truck was described as a smaller, older white pickup with a canopy and some rust on the body, and again no license plate was obtained.

On Feb. 24 at approximately 7:50 a.m., an 11-year-old girl was en route to school when a vehicle pulled up to her and stopped. The male driver asked her if she wanted a ride, but the girl refused and the driver commented about the wet weather before driving off.

The Caucasian male driver was described as being between 30-40 years of age, with short brown hair, possibly wearing a grey sweater. The vehicle is described as a dark blue sports car with a spoiler on it, and no license plate was obtained.

“It is important to note that in none of these incidents was there an attempt to initiate physical contact with the girls, or threaten them,” Allan said.

“It is, however, concerning when strangers offer rides to young children, no matter the circumstances.”

Children are taught at a very young age not to speak with people they do not know or accept rides from anyone not authorized by their parents. Children are also encouraged to walk with others to and from school, she said.

Allan suggests parents provide, if possible, a cellphone for their children to use in emergency situations.

“Fortunately all of these children safely declined the offers and reported the incidents to adults,” Allan said.

Should any member of the public witness this type of incident, they are asked to obtain as much detail as possible about the vehicle and its occupants, and to attempt to obtain a license plate to provide to police immediately.

If anyone has information about these incidents they are asked to call the Port Alberni Detachment at 250-723-2424 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Just Posted

Bamfield Road safety concerns resurface after fatal bus crash

Huu-ay-aht First Nations wants a safe route between Bamfield and Port Alberni

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: Meet the candidates for the Courtenay-Alberni riding

In an effort to inform the Courtenay-Alberni riding constituents, we have supplied… Continue reading

City of Port Alberni offers support after fatal bus crash

Two University of Victoria students killed after crash en route to Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre

Participants double at Parkinson’s Superwalk in Port Alberni

Second annual event also saw an increase in funds raised

Alberni School District considers three name changes

Neill Elementary, Ucluelet Secondary and school district identified for new names

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Scheer makes quick campaign stop in Comox

Conservative leader highlights tax promises early in campaign

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Most Read