Tools

Complaints of Suspicious Van Near Kids have Parents Worried

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

WEAKLEY COUNTY, Tenn.- Residents said they are concerned about area children after a suspicious white van has been reportedly seen cruising neighborhoods and area schools.

Area residents have been posting on Facebook about the van around county schools, putting the entire county on high alert. There have been two separate complaints about a white van within the last two weeks.

Mother Amanda Jones told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News that her
9-year-old daughter told her two unknown men driving a white van pulled onto her street near Dresden and chased after her.

"I'm terrified because she could have been gone just that quick you know," said Jones. "They ran towards her and the van was down there so she knows the difference."

Jones said her daughter ran to the neighbors door for help. Officials said the men took off and were not seen by the neighbor anywhere else in the neighborhood.

"She was shaken and I mean it's not like my child to get scared easily, she's pretty tough,' said Jones.

Gleason Police Chief Jeff Hazelwood said a similar complaint about a white van was filed in his city last week. The man reportedly let a small poodle out of a white van on a residential street in Gleason.

Hazelwood said the man reportedly chased the dog running towards a little girl, the girl became scared and ran inside. Chief Hazelwood said in this case there is no evidence to suggest that the driver was attempting to abduct the little girl. Investigators said the suspect in this case might be linked to area thefts.

"As of right now we don't have any confirmation that there was an attempted child abduction," said Chief Hazelwood.

Officials said postings on Facebook reportedly have spotted the suspicious white van parked in neighborhoods and circling different schools, stirring panic for parents across the county.

Weakley County Coordinator of Safety in schools told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News that even though the rumors on-line have not been confirmed, school officials are not taking any chances. County teachers and staff have been alarmed to have an increased awareness. Police said neither incident in question happened with in close proximity of a school zone but said they are investigating every rumor thoroughly.

"Of course we can't take anything for granted in the world we live in now," said Chief Hazelwood.

Weakley County Sheriff Mike Wilson said at this time it is unclear if the two incidents are related. The Sheriff's Department is investigating every rumor as well. Authorities want to caution that information posted on the internet is neither official nor confirmed information.

Law enforcement officials said they do not believe are children are in danger, but they do as always want residents to be aware of their surroundings. If you have any information in this case call Weakley County Sheriffs Department at (731) 364-5454.


This content requires the latest Adobe Flash Player and a browser with JavaScript enabled. Click here for a free download of the latest Adobe Flash Player.