By Brittany Hanson/Garden Grove Journal
Since Jan. 21 there have been at least four incidents of young girls being approached by older men near their schools, according to a press release from Van Woodson, the public information officer of the Westminster Police Department.
The incidents involve girls ranging in age from 12 to 17, each of whom was either approached, spoken with, followed, offered a ride or even had a photo taken of them.
Although the police department does not believe that the incidents are linked and there were no abductions, it was mentioned by Woodson that the police want students and parents to take note of the spike in incidents and look to protect young people.
“Officials at the Westminster Police Department would like to take this time to remind parents of some of the important safety tips to share with their school aged children. Children should not walk alone to school and should always be aware of their surroundings,” said Woodson.
According to Westminster High School Secretary Linda Sampson, parents at the high school have been notified of the incidents and through telephone messages have been informed to tell their children to be aware when walking to and from school.
“Also, the students involved in the situations have been counseled at the school,” said Sampson.
On Friday Jan. 21, a 16-year old Westminster High School student reported seeing a driver stop his car near the high school and take a photo of her.
The driver was described as a 25-year old male Hispanic in a grey compact vehicle.
During the afternoon of Feb. 3, a 12-year old said the driver, a 40-year old male, of an SUV waved and winked at her near Magnolia Street and Edinger Avenue.
On Feb. 7 a 17-year old female student from Westminster High School was walking to school when she was contacted by the driver of a black BMW.
The driver tried to engage her in conversation, but she walked away. The driver then followed her for a short distance and then left. He was described as 40-year old white male.
Also on Feb. 7, a 14-year old female was walking near Beach Boulevard and 16th Street and was offered a ride by a white male driving a grey four-door vehicle.