Milford Police investigating suspicious vehicle
MILFORD, Del. – Milford Police and school administrators are taking extra steps to protect the community after a stranger apparently targeted a child on Friday morning near Benjamin Banneker Elementary School.
“We’re working closely with the Milford Police Department. They’re really leading the investigation. Our main focus now is to make sure all students are safe,” says Dr. Jason Peel, the director of human resources and school climate for the Milford School District. “So we have three full time police officers that work with our schools from the Milford Police Department, at least those. And they have extra patrols out in the area.”
Police say the incident happened around 7:15 a.m. “We got a phone call about a student walking in the area of an elementary school near Northwest 2nd Street and North Street, who was approached by a white male with black hair in dark clothing in a maroon or dark red van who made comments to her leading her to believe he wanted her to get inside the van,” says Sgt. Robert Masten with the Milford Police Department. The van is described as resembling a Ford Econoline.
Thankfully, officers say that student is safe all because she did the right thing. “She immediately took off running, went and notified a parent and which kicked us off along with the school district staff, conducting patrols in the area and other elementary schools in the city looking for the van with negative results,” says Sgt. Masten.
On Friday police shared surveillance video of a van, seen driving past Banneker Elementary School that matches the child’s description, with the hope that someone might have helpful information. “We’re just hoping somebody recognizes that at least we can speak to that operator see if they saw anything or if they happened to be there. That was the van we’re looking for,” says Sgt. Masten.
As they increase patrols, they’re also asking parents to talk to their kids about how to stay safe. “If something doesn’t feel right report it. Have trust with adults at the school and whether it’s at school or at home to talk to someone if it doesn’t feel right,” says Peel.
Parents say the School District was very quick to tell them what happened this morning through an automated phone call. 47 ABC has also heard reports of a similar situation in Easton, Maryland, involving a suspicious red van. However, Easton Police tell 47 ABC that no one has reached out to them about something like this.
Police are urging anyone in the area to check any outside cameras they may have on their property in that area and report any findings. Anyone with information can call 302-422-8081 or Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333.