Saanich Police are hoping a series of suspicious encounters will serve to strike up a conversation between children and their parents.
Police received a report that a 10-year-old girl was walking to school on Ambassador Avenue shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday when she noticed a man get out of his vehicle and stare in her direction.
“The girl felt uncomfortable and continued to school, informed staff at the school, who in turn contacted police,” said acting Sgt. Jereme Leslie.
He said police learned this wasn’t the girl’s first encounter with a man in a white pickup truck. She told police a man driving a white truck had given her the finger in late November or early December as she walked along Ambassador. She noticed the same vehicle travelling in the same direction as her at a low speed as she walked along McBriar Avenue in late December, and in January the truck stopped near her and the driver asked if she needed a ride as she was walking on Borden Street. She didn’t answer and ran home.
She described the driver as a white man between 50 and 60 years old, with a thin build, reddish-brown hair and a goatee.
“Sometimes she doesn’t have a description of the man,” said Leslie, adding that the incidents always involve a white pickup truck with a possible black toolbox in the bed.
Leslie said it is not common for police to receive these types of reports, and he hopes the incidents will help strike up a conversation between children and their parents about recognizing potentially dangerous situations.
“That’s the really important part here, a gentle reminder to parents that kids can feel free to have those conversations with an adult that they trust, either parents, teachers, counsellors, a school liaison officer, whoever it might be,” he said.
Leslie said police are hoping to speak with the driver of the vehicle.
“At this point there’s nothing nefarious about the actions. Obviously we would like to find out more about this particular set of circumstances.”
Anyone with information on the incidents is asked to contact Saanich Police at 250-475-4321.