York County, Va. - Days after an attempted abduction, the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Department is warning parents about the dangers of approaching suspicious cars at bus stops.
“There’s been a little bit of panic going on in the community. People have been on a heightened state of awareness,” says Sheriff Danny Diggs.
The sheriff told NewsChannel 3 they got a report about a parent following a suspicious gold car at a bus stop. Earlier this week, the department received calls about a man in a gold car taking photos of children.
“You gotta remember, you don't know who you're following or do they know you're following them and what are the next steps. What if this person stops and confronts you? Are they going to be armed? Is this going to escalate?” says Diggs.
On Tuesday, a 13-year-old girl told officers a man tried luring her into his car after telling her he was looking for a dog.
“That is a common tactic of ‘Come on, look at this puppy. Can you help me find my lost dog?’ That is a common tactic used by pedophiles,” Diggs says.
The girl said the man looked like the Isle of Wight abductor’s sketch and was driving the same two-door Chevrolet Cavalier.
A parent came out and scared the man away.
“I just want people to consider, what are your own skill sets? If this thing turns bad can you defend yourself or are you putting yourself in jeopardy?” Diggs says.
On Thursday, the department posted a Facebook message telling parents that taking matters into their own hands is dangerous.
“What we want people to do is have a heightened state of awareness. Be watching your kids and if somebody does pull up and starts a conversation, we’d like for you to record the license plate, take a picture, whatever is safe depending on the situation,” Diggs says.