Mount Pleasant police are on the lookout for a van-driving man who reportedly followed and photographed children in the Hamlin Plantation neighborhood earlier this month.
According to a police report, the incidents March 2 weren’t reported until the 19th but involved children from two different families in the subdivision who said they were either followed or photographed by a man in a van that day.
“Folks were concerned, I think properly,” said Bill Drury, chairman of the subdivision’s HOA Advisory Committee.
He said that following those incidents, and four home break-ins earlier this year, “we’re looking at installing cameras and those kinds of things.”
Mount Pleasant Maj. Stan Gragg said no one filed a police report in the days following the van incident, but a Hamlin Plantation neighbor who went to the aid of a frightened child March 2 went to the police department last week and gave a statement about the incident, which he believed the police were already aware of.
The neighbor told police that he and his wife were returning home the afternoon of March 2, a Sunday, when they noticed what the man described as a “stalker van” exiting the neighborhood. Then, a visibly scared child flagged down their car and said the van had been following him and asked for help.
After some investigation the police learned the identity of the child and got a statement from him last week, and from a neighbor whose children said they were photographed by the van-driving man.
The van was described by one witness as a white passenger van with an after-market roof addition and a black cargo box. Some of the children involved later described the van as “older, brown and rusty” the police report said.
Gragg said officers are continuing to check out tips, which have multiplied since media outlets reported the incident this week.
He said the department did not issue a crime alert or distribute reports about the incident because “the information was a little stale by the time the report was made, so there wasn’t any exigency to getting the information out there.”
The Mount Pleasant Police Department can be reached at 884-4176.
Reach David Slade at 937-5552 or Twitter @DSladeNews.
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