Sarpy County stranger danger unfounded

Posted at 6:54 PM, Apr 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-19 19:54:43-04

The Sarpy County Sheriff's Department said parents can rest easy after reports of a van following children were circulating on social media, turned out to be untrue. 

In the last few weeks there have been half a dozen calls to the sheriff's department about a suspicious white van near the 144th and Harrison and Giles neighborhood.

“I heard through emails that there is some kind of white van with tinted windows that is trying to entice kids or something,” said Matt Patten who has a daughter in school nearby. 

Chief Deputy Greg London said that some of the social media posting had some incorrect information.

“Sometime people post stuff and they are getting 2nd, 3rd, 4th hand information and they are taking it for gospel truth and it’s not, and that is causing law enforcement some headaches on cases like this," he said.

London said that so far all the incidents that have been reported have either been made up by the children or they were able to find the vans believed to be reported.

“All the four people we have contact with were legitimate business people whether they are painters or work for another construction company, and we have no qualms about them what so ever,” said London.

Neighborhood residents said that even if there wasn't a threat they were glad the situation was taken seriously.

“They should still take precaution because it could happen for real and that catches you off guard and then someone doesn't have their kid,” said Jerome Comb, who lives nearby.

“It’s great to see the community is coming together about this issue because it is very important, children are the biggest thing in our world and will be our future,” said Patten. 

London said that parents are doing a great job at teaching their kids about stranger danger, but right now they don't need to worry about a white van.

“We don’t see any threats right now, obviously there could be, but right now through our investigations we don’t see anything as a true alarm for us right now.”

He also added that they always want children and parents to be vigilant and report suspicious vehicles and activity in their neighborhood.