Beware of strange van in the region
On August 20, 2013 at approximately 6:40 pm, officers of the Rainy River District Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) (Atikokan Satellite Detachment) were notified of an unusual circumstance involving a lone male driver operating a brown mini-van on Sumac Road in Atikokan, ON. Police were notified that a male driver operating a brown/tan mini-van had pulled up along side of two female youths playing outside of a residence. The youths told police that the male asked the girls to get inside of the van. In return, he would give them some candy. The children ran into the residence and reported the incident to a parent. In the meantime, the van drove away.
Police attended the residence immediately upon receiving the call and subsequently patrolled the Atikokan Township area but were unable to locate a vehicle matching the description. As part of the police investigation, other police officers within the Region were alerted to the incident and advised to observe for a vehicle matching the description provided to police. OPP can confirm there have been no sightings of this vehicle since the report. And, there have been no additional reports or similar reports received from the public since the initial call.
Since the date of the initial report, police have learned of a Facebook post by a civilian that alerts the public of the incident but has made reference to a similar incident occurring in the City of Thunder Bay. OPP can confirm that similar incidents have not been reported to either Thunder Bay City Police or Thunder Bay OPP. At this time, the Atikokan occurrence is considered to be an isolated incident but officers are continuing their investigation into the matter.
The public is encouraged to notify police if they have any information regarding this investigation.
The vehicle is described as an older style mini-van that appears “kind of boxy”, light brown or tan coloured with wood paneling on the lower portion of the entire side of the vehicle and possible has a roof rack. The windows are clear, not tinted. The male driver is described as Caucasian, clean shaven and has dark/curly/medium length hair.
The OPP reminds all members of the public to be aware of their personal safety at all times. Children should not be left unattended anywhere, for any length of time, when out in public. The OPP’s website, www.opp.ca contains a number of useful resources, tips and links.
If anyone has information pertaining to this incident, please contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.