Police: No Dundalk Kidnappings Occurred
Baltimore County Police Department officials have investigated three reported attempted abductions this week.
Baltimore County Police Department officials said they are appreciative of Dundalk's collective watchful eye over its children and neighborhoods.
But they also want to lay to rest concerns that a potential kidnapper is lurking on the streets, trying to grab local children.
Police officers have investigated three recent calls about suspicious conditions in which apparent strangers displayed behaviors that raised concerns.
And police said they found that there have been no kidnappings, no attempted kidnappings or abductions, according to county police Det. Cathy Batton.
Residents have been using Facebook and email to alert the community at large about perceived attempts to lure children away from their homes.
Dundalk Patch received several emails from concerned residents and a warning notice was posted on Dundalk Patch's Facebook page alerting parents to a particular incident.
The first incident that was reported to the police department happened at about 8 p.m. Monday in the 1700 block of Burnham Road, according to Batton.
The caller said a 9-year-old girl was playing in her fenced-in yard when an older white man driving a dark blue minivan stopped his vehicle in front of the house and waved to the girl and then drove away.
"There were no comments made, no gestures other than the wave and the man did not get out of the vehicle," Batton said.
The girl told her father about the incident and he called 911.
The second incident reportedly occurred at about 2:45 p.m. Tuesday at Wells Avenue and McComas Road in Edgemere.
An 8-year-old boy and his mother were out for a walk, according to Batton.
The boy was about a half-block ahead of his mother, riding a scooter, when a turquoise van slowed down and drifted toward the boy, the woman told police.
The woman yelled for her son to come back to her and he did, Batton said.
"There was no interaction between the vehicle operator and the child," Batton said.
At about 4:35 p.m. Tuesday, police received a report of a possible kidnapping at the intersection of Church and Rockbourne roads, according to Batton.
According to the 911 caller, the witness saw a man get out of a light blue van, pick up a juvenile and put the juvenile in the van, Batton said.
The juvenile, who Batton could not identify by gender, was walking with another person prior to being picked up, according to the witness' account, Batton said.
In talking to witnesses in the area, police officers found someone who took down the van's license plate number.
Investigating officers located the van and its owner, who "fully cooperated" with the officers, Batton said.
Police officers searched his house and van and did not find a child nor any evidence of a kidnapping or any kind of struggle.
Officers also went door to door in the neighborhood, checking to see if any children were unaccounted for.
"As of Wednesday morning, there were no missing children reports," Batton said Wednesday afternoon.
The owner of the van told officers he was driving through the area to pick up a friend, Batton said.
He pulled over to make a phone call, stopped to get gas and then went home, he told officers.
In each case, police officers determined that no attempted abductions or kidnappings had taken place, Batton said.
"It is encouraging to see a community that is alert to potential dangers to its children," Batton said. "And they are having the continual conversations we should be having with our children— those teachable moments when we ask our children what they would do if faced with a similar situation.
"However, in this particular situation, word is being put out there that attempted kidnappings have occurred and our investigation has shown that did not happen," she said.
The department appreciates the community's willingness to report concerns to the police department.
"Community members are clearly looking out for their children and each other, they are communicating with each other and they are communicating with us," Batton said. "And we certainly appreciate all of that, and we want it to continue."