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Police investigate possible solicitation attempt at Vickers Elementary School

By Gheni_Platenburg
May 19, 2010 at 12:19 a.m.


In the aftermath of a possible solicitation attempt Wednesday morning at Vickers Elementary School, parents are advised again to speak to their children about stranger danger.

Around 11:20 a.m., students were outside in the school's fenced-in playground during recess.

As the teachers ended recess and began ushering the children back inside, Victoria Police Chief Bruce Ure said a man standing behind the fence called out to two girls on the playground.

The girls immediately ran and told a teacher.

The man fled the scene shortly thereafter in a blue pickup truck.

School district spokesperson Diane Boyett said teachers did not see the man, but they responded immediately and notified the police.

"The kids did exactly what they were told to do," said Boyett.

"We're investigating this as a potential solicitation of a child," said Ure. "We're assuming that the male suspect had ill intentions. We want to err on the side of caution."

The suspect is described as a white male who was wearing a blue shirt and possibly had a moustache.

In addition to a recorded phone message that went out to parents Wednesday, Boyett said notifications of the incident were also sent home with students.

"A hard copy went home with the kids letting parents know what happened and to reiterate that children need to be aware of their surroundings and don't talk to strangers," said Boyett.

Ure said Wednesday's incident does not appear to be related to earlier abduction attempts.

"His description does not match any of our earlier reports," said Ure. "Regardless of whether this was truly an attempted solicitation, parents need to have a conversation with their children about stranger danger."

He continued, "It's quite possible we're receiving more reports because of the increased publicity, which is something we're more than OK with. We want children and parents to err on the side of caution."

At this time, parents are advised to keep a closer eye on their children and make sure their children know the basics of dealing with strangers.

"If you think you are watching your child closely now, watch them even more closely," said Ure. "The most important thing that a parent can communicate to a child is if they don't know someone, then don't talk to them. Don't worry about hurting someone's feelings."

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