Mount Pleasant on alert as white van allegedly stalks kids - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Mount Pleasant on alert as white van allegedly stalks kids

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Mount Pleasant is on alert after a white van has been seen allegedly following and taking pictures of children. The first incident was reported in Hamlin Plantation just off of Highway 17. Mount Pleasant police tell News 2 they have also received reports of residents seeing the van in many neighborhoods. Authorities say they are following up on every lead they receive.

The first incident of suspicious activity happened when Paul Thacker and his wife were driving back to their home in Hamlin Plantation earlier in March when he saw a white van that looked different than the normal vans he sees in the neighborhood.

"It had an after-market roof addition that had been added, multiple pill-shaped windows on the top of it and had window on the side of it," Thacker said.

He says the van looked to have some remnants of adhesive lettering on the side of the car. Shortly after seeing the van, he says a child came running up to him asking for help.

"This kid comes out of a side yard. He is just waving his hands up and down at me wanting to stop. So I stopped, and I rolled down my window and he says, 'Please, can you help me, this van has been following me, Thacker said.

He followed the boy to a friend's house to tell the family about the incident. However, he did not report the incident until last week after a neighbor and friend reported a similar incident. Thacker said the neighborhood has been on high alert recently, and there are talks to create a neighborhood watch to keep everyone safe.

The van is also causing a nearby elementary school to be on alert just as students are leaving for spring break.

Jennie Moore Elementary's principal Karen Felder heard about the incident Thursday morning, and sent an email to teachers and families with a picture of what the van may look like along with details about the incident. Felder says she plans to keep in touch with Mount Pleasant Police throughout the break. She also spoke with guidance counselors who plan to communicate with students the importance of being safe around strangers once the students return from break.

"My plan is as always we will work with guidance counselors, and remind the children about strangers," Felder said.

She says this incident hits home the importance of making sure her students are safe while at school.

"You just need to always be aware of what's going on around you, and like I said, the most important thing is that you always want your kids to come to school and feel safe and secure and be ready to learn," she continued.

If you have seen a van that looks like the picture, you are asked to call Mount Pleasant police at (843)-884-4176.

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