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Suspicious man leads police to issue warning to young students

Police warn children to be alert after white van follows girls near middle school

Tigard Police have received information from two students at Twality Middle School about a white van driven by an older white male who followed the girls as they were walking home from school Wednesday, March 30.

The pair of students had just left the school, located at 14650 Southwest 97th Ave., in Tigard, at about 4 p.m. when they first noticed the van passing them in the opposite direction, according to Tigard Police spokesman Jim Wolf. The van turned around and slowly followed behind the girls, Wolf said. The two students turned and ran back to the school where they immediately reported the incident.

'Children should be encouraged to be alert and to know what steps to take in the event they find them-selves in a situation that could be uncomfortable or possibly harmful,' said Tigard Police spokesman Jim Wolf in a statement.

The driver of the van made no gestures or said anything to the girls, Wolf said, but the fact that the van turned around and appeared to follow the girls prompted them to take action.

Police have no additional description, information or reason to conclude that the driver had ill intentions, Wolf said, but stressed the importance of children 'doing the right thing' and reporting suspicious activity.

'The students acted on solid instincts and remained observant,' Wolf said. 'Encourage your children to be aware of the surroundings, avoid being alone and know what to do if they are approached or become targets of unwanted contact.'