Findlay police: Multiple recent stranger danger incidents could be related
FINDLAY, OH (Toledo News Now) -
The Findlay Police Department is warning the public to be on alert after four reports were taken of suspicious activity within 10 days and appear to be related. Police have questioned three people in connection to the investigation.
Various people have encountered a man who was trying to get them to follow him, get into a car with him, or look at his dog. The people who have been approached range in age from small children, through teenagers, to older adults.
An incident reported on April 28 around 4:30 p.m. in the area of South Main and Sixth streets, described the suspect as an older, white male, ages 45 to 50, with short, dark hair and a scruffy or unshaved face. He was driving an older, white, full-sized, four-door vehicle, possibly a Cadillac. It was further described as boxy. This white male had a smaller dog with him and offered for the person to look at the animal.
In an incident on May 3 around 2:45 p.m. in the area of South Main Street and Hobart Avenue, a male around 20 years old with brown hair and a goatee, was reported in a rusty, red, full-sized Chevrolet 4x4 pickup truck, when he approached a teenager. The suspect offered to give the teen a ride home, but the teen refused.
In an incident just days later on May 6, around 4:45 p.m. in the 800 block of Summit Street, a suspect described as a tan-skinned white male, approximately 20 to 30 years old, wearing a dark-colored ball hat, was driving a white, full-size, older, 1990s-style, four-door Cadillac or Buick. This suspect offered for some juveniles to look at his dog. However, he was scared away by nearby adults who saw the incident happening.
One day later on May 7, around 8 a.m. at Western Avenue and West Main Cross Street, a white, thin-built male, wearing a dark-colored ball hat and sunglasses, was driving a full-sized, white, four-door car and was holding a dog up to the window, motioning for an adult driver in a nearby vehicle to follow him. The adult refused and drove away.
No license plate information was obtained in any of the incidents.
Police say a middle-aged man, a woman, and a younger man have been approaching people of all ages - asking them to look at their dog.
"Does that necessarily mean that this was a dangerous situation? Not necessarily, but we definitely want to track the person down and have a chat with them and see why they think this behavior's OK," explained crime prevention officer Brian Dill.
Another incident happened Friday, in which a woman was able to lead police to the car in question. Officers questioned the three people inside the car, who told police they were just trying to sell their dog.
No arrests have been made at this time, but police are reminding residents to keep up their guards.
"Those extra eyes and ears in the community for us, as we have fewer guys on the street, which, you know, gives us a little bit of extra help," said Dill.
The FPD wants to remind parents to speak with their children about being approached by strangers and what actions to take.
Anyone with information on any of these incidents is asked to call the Findlay Police Department or the Findlay-Hancock County Crimestoppers at 419-425-TIPS.