Several similar incidents involving a vehicle and a male suspect approaching children have taken place in Sleepy Eye, New Ulm and Madelia.
The Sleepy Eye Police Department (SEPD) is reporting that on April 3 they received a report that while an 8-year-old child was walking to school a Hispanic male described as being in his 30s or 40s drove past him three times in a black van of unknown style. It was reported that the driver did not stop or talk with the child, but the vehicle was one that the child had not seen before and has not seen since. The child did express a concern for his safety to his parents.
On Sunday, April 6 at approximately 8 p.m. the New Ulm Police Department received a report involving a suspicious person that attempted to pick up a 14-year-old girl within the City of New Ulm.
The suspect told the girl that it was late and her parent(s) had sent him to pick her up and take her home. The girl refused the ride. Later, the parent(s) spoke with the girl, verified that they had never sent anyone to pick up their daughter and contacted police.
The suspect was described as a male in his late 20s to early 30s with short dark brown hair, possibly Caucasian with a darker complexion or Hispanic with a light complexion. The suspect’s vehicle was described as a newer, black four-door car of an unknown make or model or license plate.
According to the SEPD, a similar incident occurred in Madelia on March 22 involving a black minivan with a rounded style like a Chevy Venture or Pontiac Montana similar to a late 90s early 2000s model. The driver was reported to be a Hispanic male.
The Sleepy Eye Police Department would like all parents to speak with their children on accepting rides from strangers and what to do if they are confronted with a situation like these.
The SEPD would like additional information about this incident or similar incidents. Contact the police department at 507-794-3711.