BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP (WWJ) – Bloomfield Township police are looking into reports of an unknown man who has been following children outside and possibly recording them on video.
According to police, the most recent reported incident took place near Lahser and Maple where a child described the vehicle as a large white SUV or van, with a driver who is white, bald, with facial hair, and roughly 40 to 50 years old.
This comes after, in nearby Birmingham, police previously reported a suspicious white utility van near a school bus stop on May 12.
The Bloomfield Hills Schools released a statement to warn parents about the incident, and to urge them to speak to their kids about strangers.
In an interview with the Oakland Press, district spokeswoman Shira Good said the situation is alarming due to the proximity to their schools and also because children are spending more time in the warm weather.
“It’s always concerning when you hear about these things, we don’t want any of our students put into situation like this,” Good said.
The National Crime Prevention Council offers some suggestions on how to talk to your kids about strangers before they head outside this spring:
- Know where you’re going and the safest way to get there.
- Always tell an adult where you’re going and what time you’ll be back.
- Whenever possible, travel with a friend or group of friends.
- Take special care when walking, jogging or biking.
- Avoid isolated areas and don’t wear headphones or text while walking. Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts.
If you think you’re being followed:
- It is okay to show you are suspicious and look at the person. It will send a clear message that you are aware of them and will also give you an opportunity to see what they look like for a police report.
- Change directions. If someone is following you on foot, cross the street and vary your pace. If the person is following you in a car, turn and walk in the opposite direction, since they will be forced to make a u-turn
- Go to the nearest store or public place, such as a park or busy intersection. If there isn’t a store or public area nearby, keep moving and don’t be afraid to yell for help or make other noise to draw attention to the situation.
- Please report anything suspicious to the police as quickly as possible and provide as much detail as you can.