PURCELLVILLE, Va. January 15, 2020 — The Purcellville Police Department would like to make the public aware of a suspicious incident which occurred on January 10, 2020 in the area of King James Street and Skyline Drive. A twelve year old middle schooler reported that he was waiting at the bus stop when a man, described as a white male in his 70’s, driving a small car, slowed and asked, “Are you riding the bus?” When the student answered, “yes”, the man drove away. The student could not think of a neighbor who fit the description of the man in question. The investigating officer from the Purcellville Police Department met with the School Resource Officer at Blue Ridge Middle School to make him aware of the incident. In addition, officers discreetly monitored bus stops for the next several days but observed no similar behaviors. There have been no other reports of this nature.
If anyone has information regarding this case, please call Officer Adam Barnhart at 540-338-7422 x 102.
Please remember to discuss with your children ways to recognize suspicious adult behaviors. Below are a few examples to use in your discussion.
- Establish a family code word to give only to a family member or trusted individual(s) responsible for your child in your absence. The person picking them up should be able to provide the code word, otherwise your child knows not to leave with him or her. The code word can also be used if something is making the child feel unsafe. A child can either call or text his/her parent the code word to express his/her concerns discretely.
- Strangers/adults should not ask children for help, such as looking for a lost pet. Nor should a child respond to an offer by a stranger to pet their dog or cat.
- Do not take any kind of treats, toys, etc. from strangers.
- Avoid personalized items that are visible to strangers, such as backpacks. When a stranger knows your child’s name, the child is more likely to trust them.
- Remind children to never leave or get into a vehicle with a stranger. Use role play scenarios to help them practice how to react.
If you or your child ever feel unsafe, please do not hesitate to 911 for assistance or to report suspicious activity.