Walworth County authorities encouraging parents to tell children about “stranger danger”

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Gazette staff
Thursday, April 8, 2010
— The Walworth County Sheriff’s Office is encouraging parents to talk to their children about staying away from strangers, following a series of incidents in which a white van was seen near children.

The sheriff’s office received a complaint in March from two students at Tibbets Elementary School in Elkhorn, according to a news release. The children told officials they were sledding near their residence when they saw a late model white van with no windows on the sides drive by them two or three times.

The last time the van drove by, one of the vehicle’s passengers offered the children a chocolate bar and asked if they wanted to walk over to the van, according to a news release. The children refused and ran home.

Elkhorn police also responded to two similar recent incidents, when two different white males in white vans were acting suspiciously near children. Officers followed both vans and found that one was picking up his children from a bus stop, and the other was driving around slowly trying to get free wireless service for his laptop computer.

In light of the incidents, officials are encouraging parents to tell their children to stay away from strangers who offer them candy or a ride. Police said parents should tell children to run to the nearest safe location and report the incident to law enforcement.

Information about incidents should be directed to detective Robert Sharp of the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office at (262) 741-4424.

Last updated: 1:39 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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