Message from the Chief
Community Update on the Suspicious “White Van”.
This is an update on the many Facebook posts and comments concerning the reports of a suspicious white van. There have been many reposts and comments, which has caused some misguided information. It is the intent of this letter to clarify what is known.
Last Tuesday evening in the area of Kingsbridge East subdivision, the Oviedo Police Department received a call that a white van pulled up near a juvenile and asked the juvenile if they wanted candy. The juvenile acted correctly and ran away. There was no attempt made to grab the juvenile.
The description provided that it was a white van. No other identifying marks were relayed. The police department responded with a heavy police presence, but the vehicle was not located. That is all the information we have.
On Wednesday morning, another juvenile reported to a crossing guard that a white van stopped and asked if he/she wanted candy. Again, there was a heavy police presence and no suspect was located. There is some reason to believe that the juvenile may have overheard someone else talking about the previous incident and was repeating it. That has not been confirmed, and the incident is still being investigated.
Having a child abducted is one of the biggest fears as a parent, as a society, and as a police department. The police department receives many calls of suspicious vehicles, and we thoroughly investigate every one of them. Here is how you can help!
First, teach your children what to do if they are approached by someone and they feel scared or threatened. Role play what they should do. The police department is available to help.
Second, call the police department. In these situations, calling 9-1-1 would be appropriate.
Third, think before you post on social media. It is easy for hot topic issues to get sidetracked and distorted. We will do our best to keep the public informed; however, it is important that the release of the information does not jeopardize the progress of the investigation.
The Oviedo Police Department is proud that Oviedo is named as one of the top 100 places to live. The safety of our community is our top priority!
If you have any information on the reported incidents concerning the white van and have not spoken to a police officer, please call 407-971-5700 and ask to speak to an officer. We would greatly appreciate hearing from you.
Chief of Police