An apparent child luring attempt took place near an elementary school in Vernon Tuesday morning, and police are investigating.
The incident occurred in the 4200 block of 35th Street, near Alexis Park Elementary School, on May 9.
Shortly before 8 a.m., police received a report that a man in a brown vehicle approached a child that was walking to school. An investigation has determined that the man called out several times trying to get the child to come to his vehicle, and he even offered a gift if the child got in.
The child continued walking and the child’s parent, who was nearby, noticed what was happening and went over to the vehicle. As the parent approached the vehicle, the suspect drove away from the school and out of the area.
Police officers immediately attended and conducted patrols but were unable to track down the suspect or his vehicle.
The suspect is a 40 to 50-year-old man with a moustache or goatee, wearing light brown clothing and driving an older brown station wagon type vehicle.
We are working closely in partnership with SD22 and to ensure the necessary steps are taken to keep our students safe, said Const. Chris Terleski, media relations officer for the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP.
The student did the right thing by recognizing and staying away from an unsafe situation. We can’t reinforce enough that establishing safe habits for interacting with strangers starts at home. Make safety conversations with your children a regular thing; it gives them confidence and helps prepare them so they know what to do if they are ever in an unsafe situation.
As police continue to investigate the incident, they’re now asking the public for help. Anyone who lives nearby or was driving in the area is being asked to check to see if they have video footage of the vehicle or the incident. Those who do, or those who have any other information that may be of use, are asked to contact the RCMP at 250-545-7171 and quote file number 2023-7313.