Darlington Police warn parents about potential threat

Darlington Police Department warn parents of several disturbing reports of a van attempting to lure children in the Oakdale community.

In a post on their popular facebook page, Chief Danny Watson alerted community mb members of the threat on Thursday, August 27.
“There have been several reports that in the Oakdale community that a white, clean shaven male, between the age of 18-30, driving a white van with dark tinted windows has tried to get several children to approach his vehicle.

In light of the suspicious activity in the Oakdale Community, please review the following safety tips with your children:

  • Don’t talk to strangers.
  • Don’t take anything from strangers.
  • Don’t go anywhere with someone you don’t know.
  • Stay more than an arm’s reach from strangers.
  • If you are approached by a stranger, seek help immediately.
  • Trust your instincts, if you feel you are being followed or something is not right, seek help immediately.
  • Use the buddy system; avoid walking anywhere alone.
  • Review contact telephone numbers and home safety practices.
  • When seeking help, always go to a trusted adult – teacher, coach, police officer, other parent, or older siblings.
  • If a stranger grabs you, do everything you can to stop him or her from pulling you away. Drop to the ground, kick, hit, bite, and scream. Do whatever it takes to attract the attention of others who can help you.
  • If someone is dragging you away, scream, “This is not my Dad,” or “This is not my Mom.”
  • Report any suspicious activity to your police department.

The post was “shared” numerous times and garnered many comments.

One woman in Hartsville posted: “There was an older white van with dark windows on Brookwood in Hartsville about two weeks ago…driving real slowly and come to a complete stop in the middle of the road in front of friends house…was there for a short period of time until I walked out on porch and it drove off. Not saying it was this person but very suspicious and it has not been seen before! Plus about eight children play at that house outside daily!”

Chief Watson added: “We are making every effort to patrol this area and to encourage parents to be vigilant in instructing children to report strange behavior immediately.”

Author: Duane Childers

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