Update – 11 a.m. Feb. 16
Chase RCMP have provided more details regarding an attempted abduction of a teenage girl Thursday.
About 3:30 p.m. Thursday, police report, a 14-year-old girl got off a school bus in the Martin Prairie Road area near Pritchard and was approached by a man driving a maroon-coloured four-door car with a black hood.
The girl said the man told her he was there to pick her up. The girl declined the ride and the man forcefully told her to get into the vehicle. She ran to a nearby residence and the man left the area.
He is described as approximately 40 years old, Caucasian with a balding hairline, dark-coloured hair on the sides of his head with sideburns which extended to his moustache and a goatee. The matter is under investigation and police would like the public’s help identifying the suspect.
Anyone with any information about this investigation is asked to contact the Chase Detachment at 250-679-3221 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
In the meantime, police are offering personal safety tips for young people.
Everyday basics –
• Know your home address and landline phone number
• Know how to contact your parents on their cell phones or at work
• Know how and when to call 9-1-1 in an emergency from a landline phone and from a cell phone
• Establish a secret word for your family. This should be used in emergencies to identify a ‘safe person’ other than their parent or caregiver
• Play ‘what if’ games with younger children to reinforce these safety messages
In the community –
• If possible, give your child a cell phone when they are away from home
• Children and teens should play and walk to places with a buddy. If they become separated or lost, they should tell someone with a nametag (for e.g. a cashier or security guard) immediately. If there is no one with a nametag, preferably, they should tell a female
• Avoid long conversations with strangers. If someone you do not know asks you personal questions, such as: “Where do you live?” DO NOT answer! Run away or leave the situation immediately
• It’s okay to say NO to adults who ask you to do something for them, such as: help them find a lost pet, join them in an activity or game, or give them directions
• Never walk with or accept a ride, money or gifts from strangers or even someone you may know, without checking with your parents. Keep a safe distance (two arm lengths) from strangers and cars that approach you
• If a person tries to grab you, scream loudly, make a lot of noise, and try to create a disturbance (e.g. knock things over, scatter belongings, kick wildly). Shout, “Help, this person is not my parent!” Run to a safe location like an open store
• If a vehicle is involved, try to take notes describing the suspicious vehicle, licence plate number, and the stranger’s description. Call 9-1-1 for help
Older children –
• If you are taking a public bus, always sit near the bus driver
• Reduce the use of headphones or use of electronic devices that can distract you from your surroundings when you are walking
A Chase high school student acted quickly to avoid an attempted abduction Thursday.
Parents in Chase were informed by their children’s schools Thursday evening, so they could make them aware of the potential danger.
A teenage girl was dropped off at her usual bus stop Thursday afternoon, parents were told. At the bus stop, a man got out of a vehicle and approached her.
He told her that her parents were not at home, and she had to go with him.
She didn’t recognize the man and refused his request. He became more aggressive so she fled on foot.
Dave MacDonald, principal at Chase Secondary, said teachers at the high school have been speaking to their students about safety, such as walking in pairs, not walking with earbuds and remaining aware of their surroundings.
He said the RCMP have interviewed the girl targeted, and he thinks they plan to put out a notice today regarding the suspect’s vehicle and his description.
When contacted, that information was not yet available from police, but will be provided when it becomes available.