Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Howard County police met with parents in the wake of several reports of suspicious activity involving kids and strangers.
One day, when Jeff was away from home, someone threw a mailbox through his front window. “That’s when I got the camera,” he said, standing in the cafeteria of Rockburn Elementary School on Tuesday evening. Jeff, who asked that his last name not be printed, not only installed a security camera on his property, but also a license plate tag reader. He joined other parents from around Howard County on Tuesday to discuss child safety with members of the Howard County Police Department in the wake of several reported “suspicious circumstances” involving children. Since December, there have been seven reports of suspicious strangers attempting to engage or acting suspicious near children, according to the police department. “We don’t think …
Monday, January 30, 2012
Childhood on lock-down: Police in middle schools and "stranger danger."
"My daughter hasn't come home from school," my friend told me on the phone last week, a note of panic in her voice. Our 9-year-olds go to school and play together. We both deplore the fact that kids today don't enjoy the freedom to wander that we did. But neither of us was extolling the virtues of "free-range parenting" at that moment. The daughter, it turned out, had stopped longer than usual at a friend's house on her way home. She was fine. Recent incidents of strangers approaching kids in Howard County underscore the fact: we're afraid of harm befalling our kids when they're out of our sight. Yet the greatest threat to children comes not from "stranger danger" but from the people closest to them. While the rate of violent crime against…
Thursday, January 19, 2012
With at least three reports of strangers trying to engage Elkridge and Ellicott City children in less than two weeks, officials and families emphasize vigilance, communication.
Schools, parents and police are on alert after a 9-year-old girl reported that a man she didn’t know approached her and offered her candy in Ilchester on Tuesday. Diane Mumford, principal at Elkridge Elementary School, sent an email to parents on Wednesday morning with information about what transpired at Ilchester, noting that Ilchester Elementary was less than a mile from Elkridge Elementary. “Yesterday, Jan. 17, after school…[a] 9-year-old girl was walking home from the bus stop in the Ilchester neighborhood [when] a man in a dark-colored car pulled up to the curb,” stated the email. “The man slid into the passenger seat and asked her if she had seen his missing dog. He then proceeded to offer her candy," said the email. "The student …
Monday, January 9, 2012
Days after a student reported a stranger offered him a ride, two people say they saw a similar vehicle in the vicinity of children.
Three days after a student reported that a stranger had offered him a ride to school, police received phone calls Friday evening of a similar car driving slowly in an area near children, according to police. One call was made to police Friday just after 5 p.m. at Avalon Drive and Marshalee Drive; the second came in at 5:26 p.m. from Rockburn Woods Way and Montgomery Road in Ellicott City. According to police spokeswoman Elizabeth Schroen, both callers said they saw a gray sedan, possibly a Volkswagen, driving slowly near a group of children playing. Schroen said both callers had received notice from Rockburn Elementary School to be on the lookout for a suspicious gray vehicle after a student said a man driving such a car offered him a …
Friday, January 6, 2012
After a student says he was approached by a stranger, police are on the look-out while administrators remind parents to stay vigilant.
Several Howard County schools sent emails to parents this week warning of “stranger danger” after a student said a stranger offered him a ride to school Tuesday morning. Rockburn Elementary School Principal Lauren Bauer sent a letter to parents that a student reported that as he was walking to a bus stop, a man in a silver car pulled up and offered him a ride. When the student called out to a friend and ran away, the letter said, the driver made a u-turn and left. "Since I had the report, I wanted to let the parents in the area know, and I also let some surrounding schools know that we had sent the letter home and that there had been an incident," Bauer said of sending the letter. She said that she wanted "to heighten awareness" among …
Thursday, January 5, 2012
After a student says he was approached by a stranger, a local elementary school gets the word out.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
This letter was sent Wednesday to parents at Rockburn Branch Elementary and nearby schools, including Bellows Spring Elementary in Ellicott City: Dear Parents I am writing to inform you of an incident that occurred in the Rockburn Township neighborhood this morning. A student reported a man in a silver car pulled up to the curb as he was walking to the bus stop and offered him a ride. The student called out to a friend who was walking ahead of him and then ran as the car made a u-turn and pulled away. This incident was reported to the police immediately. This information is being shared with parents as a reminder to review safety procedures with your children. If possible, it is best for an adult to walk to the bus stop and wait until the…