RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)

Third report of man chasing child in Kelowna, unfounded: RCMP

The man wasn’t chasing the child, but just walking behind them

After police received a report of a suspicious man chasing a child in Rutland, RCMP is confirming there is no danger to the public.

The man reportedly followed a child, Friday (March 12) morning, near Ziprick and Renfew Road.

According to Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy, Mounties immediately searched the area and began investigating.

“The man reported in this incident has been identified and we have been able to confirm that he was not following the child, but rather walking in the same direction,” she said.

However, this is the third report regarding a man following children in the Rutland area in the last two weeks.

“The man in this morning’s incident does not match the descriptions provided in either of the previous investigations,” said Cpl. Noseworthy, “Those matters are still being investigated, and we continue to ask anyone with information on those incidents to contact us.”

Given the current concerns in the community, now is a good time to go over some street-proofing tips with your kids.

Everyday Basics:

  • Know your home address and landline phone number
  • Know-how to contact your parents on their cell phones or at work
  • Know-how and when to call 911 in an emergency from a phone
  • Establish a code word for your family. This should be used in emergencies to identify a ‘safe person’ other than their parent or caregiver

In the Community:

  • Children and teens should play and walk to places with a buddy. If they become separated or lost, they should tell someone with a nametag (e.g. a cashier or security guard) immediately
  • Avoid conversations with strangers. If someone you do not know asks personal questions of you, such as: where do you live, do not answer. Runaway or leave the situation immediately
  • It’s okay to say no to adults who ask you to do something for them, such as: help them find a lost pet, join them in an activity or game, or give them directions
  • Never walk with or accept a ride, money or gifts from strangers or even someone you may know, without checking with your parents. Keep a safe distance (two arm lengths) from strangers and cars that approach you
  • If a person tries to grab you – scream, make a lot of noise, and try to create a disturbance (e.g. knock things over, scatter belongings, kick wildly). Shout, Help, this person is not my parent! Run to a safe location like an open store
  • If a vehicle is involved, try to take get the license plate and a description of the stranger(s) and vehicle(s). Call 911 for help
  • If you are taking a public bus, always sit near the bus driver
  • Reduce the use of headphones or use of electronic devices that can distract you from your surroundings when you are walking

Anyone with information on these matters is asked to call the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300. Or remain completely anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or by leaving a tip online at www.crimestoppers.net

READ MORE: Kelowna RCMP searchng for attempted robbery suspect

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