A quiet, peaceful neighborhood is on alert, and police are on patrol, after a scare in Saratoga Springs. But as police investigate a boy’s report of a possible predator, they’re saying neighbors are doing too much to try to help.
“A boy’s mom came knocking on our door,” says Cody Anderson, as he describes what happened Monday in his neighborhood. “One of the neighbors who lives down the street said her son was just on our corner, right here by our house, and he was walking, and a car approached him and opened the door and told him to get inside.”
Word spread quickly, from the intersection of Deer Meadow Drive and Titus Avenue, where an 8-year-old boy told his parents a white vehicle pulled up in front of him, as he was walking home from school, and someone told him to get inside the vehicle.
“The boy, gratefully, refused to get in the car,” Anderson says, “and started running away, and went and told his parents what happened.”
That was the good news. But there was bad news, too.
“We have a brief description of a vehicle, which is a white car, like a cross-over or a mini-van,” Saratoga Springs spokesperson David Johnson told ABC4.com.
The description is vague, and police have little to go on. It was the best an emotional 8-year-old boy could give his parents and police. And to make matters more difficult, police are patrolling a neighborhood where there appears to be a white vehicle vaguely resembling the boy’s description around practically every corner.
There’s another problem for police. Well-meaning neighbors are posting pictures of white vehicles on their community Facebook pages. Some of the pictures are of their own neighbors’ vehicles. Police are asking concerned citizens to be careful not to spread speculation online. Rather, they want citizens to send all their possible leads to police headquarters.
The boy’s mother started her own investigation. She has reportedly been going door-to-door, asking neighbors with security cameras on their front porches to share their video, just in case any lens might have captured the car in question.
“We are going through what has been submitted to the police department,” Johnson says, “And we’re working with the family to see if we can pin down exactly which vehicle it was.”
Johnson adds police want the public to know they’re taking the boy’s report seriously, and checking out all leads.