RCMP investigating 3rd child-luring report involving man in van since July

·2 min read
RCMP in Newfoundland and Labrador say there's been three separate reports of a man attempting to lure children into a van this summer, including two within a few kilometres of each other. Police say they can't confirm if each event includes the same man. (David Bell/CBC - image credit)
RCMP in Newfoundland and Labrador say there's been three separate reports of a man attempting to lure children into a van this summer, including two within a few kilometres of each other. Police say they can't confirm if each event includes the same man. (David Bell/CBC - image credit)

For the third time this summer, the RCMP in Newfoundland and Labrador say they're on the lookout for a man trying to lure children into a van.

The police issued a news release on Friday, saying a teenager was approached by a man around 10 p.m. on Thursday in Carmanville. She told police the man pulled up in a light grey van and demanded she get in. She declined, police say, the driver repeated his demand twice more, and the girl ran home.

Police say they patrolled the area extensively, looking for the vehicle and the man, but found nothing.

He was described as being a larger man, with a baseball cap and a brown beard. The van was described as noisy and possibly an older model. Police were told it appeared to be freshly painted.

On July 27, RCMP in Gander responded to a report of an attempted child abduction in Frederickton — an eight-minute drive away from Carmanville. Police said a man driving a white van approached a child and asked them to get in the vehicle. He then got out of his van and tried to convince the child to get inside. Police say the child rode off on a bicycle and hid in the woods until they felt safe to return home.

The man was described as short with a large stomach and a long beard, and wearing a black hat. The van was described as white with no lettering, two doors on the back and two windows.

Between those two incidents, on Aug. 15, there was similar report across the island in Stephenville Crossing.

Police said a man in a black minivan asked a teenager for directions. The man then reportedly asked the teen to get in the van and show him the way, but he refused.

"When the teen refused, the driver became irate and demanded that he get in the van," an RCMP spokesperson said in a press release. "The driver left the area when the teen ran to his home."

There was no physical description of the man, "other than that he had a raspy-sounding voice."

Cpl. Jolene Garland, media relations officer for the RCMP in N.L., said no connections among the three instances have been confirmed but police continue to investigate all three reports.

Anyone with information on any of the alleged incidents is asked to call the RCMP or Crime Stoppers.

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