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The West Kelowna RCMP have now received 3 reports of attempted child abductions

The West Kelowna RCMP are investigating a third report of a suspicious incident where a male youth was asked to enter a vehicle.

On Monday evening at about 6 pm, officers received a report that a 15 year-old youth had been asked by a male if he wanted to get in his van.

<who>Photo credit: NowMedia file photo

The youth was in a parking lot in the 1700 block of Ross Road in West Kelowna when a male driving a newer red mini van drove up to him.

The youth, unable to hear the driver, approached the van and the male then asked if he wanted to get in the vehicle. The youth declined and the driver left the area.

“The male driver is described as being Caucasian, in his 30s with a full beard and no mustache,” said the RCMP. “He was wearing a black baseball hat and driving a newer red boxy-style mini van.”

“West Kelowna RCMP would like to speak with this male in hopes to clarify what events transpired,” States Cst. Lesley Smith, Kelowna RCMP “At this point in the investigation our officers are unable to confirm if this interaction was related to other recent reports and therefore we will continue to assess all evidentiary avenues.”

On Monday, the RCMP advised of another reported attempt that transpired on Sunday afternoon. The first reported incident was on Nov. 27, less than a week apart.

In light of the recent number of concerning reports involving suspicious vehicles and possible child luring, the RCMP is reminding parents and youth to be extremely cautious of their surroundings and to remember these personal safety tips.

When you are out alone, be prepared for anything that may put you at risk.

  • Keep your head up, stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Take note of the people, businesses and sources of assistance in the area.
  • Avoid a person or a situation which does not feel safe.

When walking, jogging, biking alone

  • Plan your route to avoid isolated areas
  • Vary your route, don’t be predictable
  • Walk near a curb and away from alleys and doorways

Don’t overburden yourself with heavy parcels or a bulky purse

  • Use a money belt or pouch to conceal money and important documents.
  • Don’t display cash in public.
  • Always carry personal identification, medical and emergency contact information with you.

When travelling at night

  • Wear reflective gear.
  • If riding on transit, ask the driver whether you can be let off closer to your destination.

What to do

  • If you believe you are being followed, cross the street, go to the nearest group of people or business and call the police.
  • If you are suddenly confronted by a predator who demands that you go with him, run away, yell for help, throw a rock through a store or car window – do whatever you can to attract attention.
  • If the criminal is after your purse or other material items, throw them one way while you run the other way.
  • If you are robbed/assaulted:Try to take note of what the suspect(s) looks like and their direction of travel. Physical descriptors such as: height/weight, clothing, and visible markings like scars, tattoos or piercings can help the police in later identifying the suspect. Call police as soon as it is safe to do so.

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