Suspicious van prompts police in Tigard, Hillsboro to issue warning

UPDATE • Police say children should 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.

A similar incident was reported Friday in Hillsboro when a man driving a white van tried to convince a woman to get into the vehicle with him.

The woman flagged down a passing driver and the man in the van drove away, Hillsboro police said.

The pair of Tigard students had just left the school, located at 14650 S.W. 97th Ave., 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 girls told police that the van turned and slowly followed them. The two students 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 themselves in a situation that could be uncomfortable or possibly harmful,' Wolf said.

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.'

If anyone has information regarding the incident contact Tigard Police at 503-639-6168.

Driver wants woman to calm baby

In Hillsboro, police said a woman was walking in the area of Northeast 231 Avenue and Cherry Drive when a white or silver van similar to a Ford Econoline being driven by 40- or 50-year-old white man turned and slowed while it drove near the woman.

According to the woman, the driver asked if she could come help him calm down his daughter who was crying inside the van. The woman told police that sounds of a crying baby inside the van appeared to be coming from a recording.

The woman told the driver that there was a church a short distance up the road. The driver got out of the van and again asked her to help calm the baby.

The woman flagged down a passing vehicle and the man from the van drove off.

Police do not know if the van was the same or connected to the Tigard incident.

Anyone with information about the incident should call Hillsboro police, 503-681-6190