The Regina Police Service is advising the public of three recent reports of suspicious persons with reminders about reviewing safety plans with children and reporting any suspicious activity promptly to police. Three recent incidents are under investigation:
1) The Regina Police Service received a call about a group of children who were playing in a schoolyard on Dempsey Avenue on the afternoon of April 9, 2015. The children, who are between the ages of six and ten, noticed a white van and a man who appeared to be taking photographs. The children went home and told an adult, who subsequently reported the incident to police. The suspect was described as an adult male with a beard.
2) On April 21, 2015, police were made aware of an event on April 16, 2015, in the area of 8th Avenue and Robinson Street. A 17 year-old male reported that he was walking on Robinson Street when a male in a white truck approached him and asked if he could take his photograph. The young man declined. The 17 year-old said he then observed the driver proceeding a short distance, then stopping to take photos of a group of younger children. The suspect male is described as Caucasian, in his 70’s, slim with grey/white hair, a grey/white moustache and glasses. The truck was described as a newer model vehicle with rails along the side of the box.
3) On April 20, 2015, the principal of a school in the 5600 block of 7th Avenue reported that two female students, ages 10 and 11, came back from their lunch break and reported that a male had given them candy while they were on their way home for lunch. The girls reported seeing the male park a two-door silver car on Campbell Street, near 7th Avenue. The male approached them and gave them candy; the girls walked away and threw away the candy. The male was gone when they returned to school.
These incidents do not include abduction attempts or any injuries to the children involved; however the behavior of the males is suspicious and requires further investigation. There is not enough information to indicate that these incidents are related in any way, although that is a possibility. Anyone who has information pertaining to any of these incidents is asked to contact the Regina Police Service at 306-777-6500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. It is possible that there is a plausible explanation in each of these cases, but there is no way of establishing this without more information.
While police still have questions in these ongoing investigations, these incidents serve as a reminder that all parents should talk with their children about safety and involve them in planning what to do if a stranger approaches them. In each of these incidents, the children and youth sought help by notifying an adult. Although the motives of the suspects are unclear, police thought it best to advise the public with the reminder to always be aware of surroundings, talk about safety plans and always contact police to report any suspicious activity.