Reports of a suspicious van stopping at Westchester bus stops that ran rampant on social media prompted a police investigation into the strange activity.
Yorktown Police Chief Robert Noble said this week that his department has received information that was shared over the Internet regarding a white van that was “allegedly stopping at bus stops in the area that had children waiting for the bus.” The claims stated that it took place in the area of Fox Meadow Road and Strang Boulevard on Tuesday morning.
Noble said that Det. Richard Finn was assigned to investigate the allegations, though there have been no verified complaints in Yorktown of any suspicious van approaching any children or cruising around any bus stops in the area.
Finn located the owner of the van and interviewed him in person. Following that interview, Finn said that he does not believe that the van or its owner was in the neighborhood in question.
According to police, the owner of the van had a valid reason to be in Yorktown, and that he frequents the area regularly for business purposes. Those claims were verified by Finn. The owner cooperated fully and Noble noted that “we know who he is and how to contact him should we need to do so in the future.’
Police investigators are encouraging anyone with CCTV in the area of Fox Meadow and Strang Boulevard should review it from between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 7:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25. Anyone who spots something suspicious or who has a child that may have been approached have been encouraged to contact Finn by calling (914) 962-3856.
“The positive that comes from this is that we can all have that conversation with our children about not approaching or engaging with strangers who attempt to approach them, and having them not engage with anyone in a vehicle that may attempt to approach them,” Noble stated. “If that does occur, encourage them to tell you and then you tell us. Should this happen at a school bus stop in the morning, please encourage your child to tell their respective teacher.
“We have an excellent relationship with both school districts in our town (Yorktown Central School District and Lakeland Central School District), and they do not hesitate to inform us of incidents like these should they be made aware of them. If you call us and don't think the call taker is giving your concern the attention it deserves, please ask to speak with a supervisor. Neighbors helping neighbors, helping us to help you. That's what Yorktown is about. That's what we are about.”
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