A man attempted to lure a 7-year-old boy into his white passenger van at 8:45 a.m. Thursday as the child was walking to Joshua Cowell School located on Pestana Avenue east of Highway 99.
Manteca Police spokesman Jason Hensley said the driver was described as a Hispanic male adult in his late 20s or early 30s, heavyset, and wearing a black beanie which covered his eyebrows. The child had told his mother that the man had a quiet voice.
“The student wisely ran home and told his mother who in turn called the Manteca Police Department,” Hensley said.
The man reportedly told the child that he should not be walking to school, saying, “This is the white van that takes kids to school.”
The incident occurred in the 1800 block of Pennebaker Way near the Sandpiper Apartments.
The vehicle was an older model full-size passenger van with two windows on the driver’s side and two doors on the rear of the van that opened outward. The Oakdale Police Department reported suspicious activity with men in a white van in November involving area schools and students.
One incident occurred on Sunday, Nov. 20, when a 15-year-old girl was followed. Also the staffs at several elementary schools reported seeing men in a white van loitering in the vicinity of their schools. Those reports cited heavy-set men in their 40s.
The Manteca Police Department Resource Unit is aggressively investigating the case. Any information should be reported to Officer Eva Steele at (209) 465-8100.
The Ripon Police Department also went on alert after the kidnapping attempt and notified all of its area schools asking them to be on the alert for any suspicious activity. Citizens were asked to report to Sgt. Terri Jensen at (209) 599-2102 with any identifying information such as, subject and vehicle descriptions and a license number. Citizens are urged to call without delay.