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Forum staff reports , Published April 07 2010

Girls report mysterious van following them in Gwinner, N.D., schools and parents notified

GWINNER, N.D. – Sargent County residents are being warned about two incidents in which girls had been followed by a large white van.

The sheriff’s office said the girls both reported that they were followed for several blocks on their way home in Gwinner. One of the girls was stopped by the vehicle and confronted by a passenger, according to the sheriff’s office.

A summary of the two reports:

- At 9:05 p.m. April 1, a girl said a van pulled up alongside her and a male passenger confronted her.

She described the passenger as a 30- to 35-year-old Hispanic man with a shaved head, pencil thin mustache, tattoos on his arm and a snake tattoo on his neck.

She described the vehicle as a white Econoline van with a black roof on top.

- On Saturday, another girl told the sheriff’s deputy that she had been walking home from North Sargent School about 3:30 p.m. April 1 when she noticed a van following her.

The van followed her for several blocks until she arrived home. The girl told investigators the vehicle was a white Econoline van occupied by three men. She described the driver as either Caucasian or Hispanic with short, dark hair.

The sheriff’s office said no attempt was made to abduct or detain either girl. However, authorities ask parents and the community to be aware of the incidents while warning against spreading misinformation.

Area schools have been notified and are taking precautions, the sheriff’s office said.

Anyone with information concerning these reports is asked to contact the Sargent County Sheriff’s Office at (701) 724-3302.