SUGAR GROVE – Police are urging parents of young children and other community residents to react cautiously to reports circulating in and around the village of attempted child abductions.
“There’s stuff out there, going around on Facebook and elsewhere, that’s just not true at all,” said John Sizer, Sugar Grove police investigator. “We are taking any report we receive seriously, and we are following up on leads.
“But we don’t want people to panic, and this false information is not helping.”
In recent weeks, Sizer said the community has become awash in unconfirmed or unfounded reports of attempted child abductions.
The rumors began earlier this month, after Sugar Grove police announced they were investigating a possible child abduction that was reported by the parent of an 11-year-old girl. That incident is believed to have occurred on June 5, police said.
But in the weeks since, Sizer said, people in the community have begun spreading tales of at least three other attempted child abductions. And Sizer said police have investigated all the reported incidents and found none of those reports to be credible abduction attempts.
“We may be dealing with cases of suspicious people, or suspicious vehicles, in some of our neighborhoods,” Sizer said. “People driving abnormally slowly down a street, that kind of thing.
“But these were not abduction attempts.”
Sizer said police believe, because the suspicious vehicle incidents occurred in neighborhoods in which trash had been taken to the curb for pickup, the suspicious people reported might have been scavengers seeking scrap to take for cash.
He noted that in the most recent incident, which occurred about 11:30 p.m. Monday, four young girls reported a dark-colored van driving slowly as it passed them.
But, Sizer said, “the driver never exited the vehicle, stopped or said anything to the girls.”
“This was not an attempted abduction,” he said. “So far, we have just one out of the four that is credible.”
Sizer said police are urging the public to report anything suspicious.
“But it is not helpful to pass on information that is inaccurate and creates undue concerns or fear,” he said.