The Fountain Valley Police Department increased patrols around all area schools after receiving reports of a man and a woman in a white van trying to talk to and possibly video-recording children during recess.
In an email to local families Oct. 9, Fountain Valley School District Supt. Mark Johnson said the vehicle — described as a minivan with handicapped license plates — was parked near Gisler Elementary School at 18720 Las Flores St. The couple in the van were seen trying to speak to children through a fence while they were outside at lunch and may have been recording them, Johnson said.
“A teacher noticed the man and ran over to speak with him,” Johnson said. “Seeing the teacher coming toward them, he quickly drove off.”
A statement on the Police Department’s Facebook page said “there was no attempt to physically contact the children.”
Police increased patrols around nearby schools in marked and undercover vehicles, according to the statement.
Both the department and the school district said additional sightings of white vans were reported, including around the Fountain Valley Library and the Recreation Center. Police interviewed several residents who reported “improper activity” by people in white vans.
“None of these incidents were corroborated, and the accounts of what was observed were inconsistent with either an actual crime or interaction with children,” the department stated.
As of Oct. 12, no suspect van had been located. Police officials had no update when asked Thursday.
Johnson said school district staff “will remain vigilant during times of supervision” and continue to partner with the Police Department in similar situations.
He reminded parents to tell their children to be aware of their surroundings, stay away from strangers, never walk alone and report anything out of the ordinary.