SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Two Sacramento-area schools were put on alert after two separate sightings of white vans where individuals were reportedly offering students a ride.
Letters were sent out to parents who were advised to be aware of the situation in the Sacramento City Unified School District, but police had good news on Tuesday after investigating.
Parents noticed what they described as a “creepy” white van driving around near two local schools. They said they noticed a man in his 50s approaching Hollywood Park Elementary School students.
Later, another white van sighting at nearby Leonardo da Vinci School, this one with a female driver asking a student if he wanted a ride.
Sacramento City Unified District spokesman Alex Barrios said, “In this particular case there was legitimate concern for student safety, and the schools felt the need to communicate that concern so that nobody would be put at risk.”
A parent got a partial license plate and made a police report. The principals of Hollywood Park Elementary and Leonardo da Vinci School immediately sent out warning letters. And while it’s usually the district that takes the lead in a situation like this, district officials say they’re glad the normal protocols weren’t followed.
“It’s better in this incident to make sure students and parents are notified that there’s a perceived threat,” says Barrios.
In this case, that’s all it was—perceived.
“We determined that it was actually a couple that has a granddaughter that goes to the school, so there is no criminal element to this at all it,” says Sacramento Police Sgt. Bryce Heinlein.
Still, police are applauding parents and the principals who acted quickly.
“We really want the community to know, to get the word out, to ease those fears because this is Halloween and things are portrayed to happen on these evenings, but really Halloween is a great night for families to get out enjoy each other and enjoy their neighborhoods,” Heinlein said