Orange City, Iowa — For the public’s safety and information, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office has released summaries of the recent suspicious person sightings.
Sheldon Police Chief Lyle Bolkema emphasizes that most of these may only be sightings of a suspicious person. In the Sheldon sighting, he says he does not have enough evidence to prove that what happened was an attempted abduction.
The first sighting on Tuesday happened in Spencer at around 9:30 a.m. Witnesses reported a suspicious vehicle approached a grade school on the south end of Spencer. Spencer Police later said that a man approached two students, rolled his window down and said, “Come here.”
The second sighting on Tuesday happened in Sheldon around 9:30 p.m. In this sighting, two teenage girls reported that as they were walking in the downtown area of Sheldon, an older male driving an older style silver minivan with a dent in the back passenger side panel yelled at them. The driver then parked the vehicle and watched them. These girls described the man as having shaggy hair. The driver was also described as possibly being 60‐70 years old, having facial hair like a beard or mustache, with shaggy or longer hair and could be wearing a colored baseball cap. The man’s vehicle in these sightings is described as an older Dodge Caravan or similar make with a dent in the far back passenger side, and the back two windows are possibly tinted very dark.
The previous incidents took place in Little Rock and Lake Park and are summarized below:
The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an attempted abduction of a 61-year-old woman from outside her home in Little Rock around noon on Wednesday, September 1. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a white male in his 60s who has graying brown hair and a matching beard. He is about 6′ to 6’2″ tall and weighs around 250 pounds. He was driving an older, dark colored car with a white top. If you have any information in this incident, contact the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office at (712) 472-8300.
In two other possibly related incidents, on September 3 and 4, a male matching the same description above driving a white Ford panel van with both rear windows blacked out, approached two different females on separate occasions in Lake Park and attempted to entice them into the van. If anyone has any information on the Lake Park incidents, please call the Lake Park Police Department at (712) 336-2525.
Sheldon, Iowa — According to Sheldon Police Chief Lyle Bolkema, the incident on Tuesday night in which two girls observed a suspicious vehicle in Sheldon should NOT be termed an “attempted abduction”. He says his office does not have the evidence to support that conclusion at this time.
Here is the official release from the Sheldon Police:
“On 09-11-12 at approximately 9:30 PM, The Sheldon Police Department received a report of a suspicious person in the downtown area of Sheldon, Iowa. Two teenage girls were walking in that area when an older male subject with dark shaggy hair driving an older style silver mini-van with a dent in the back passengers’ side panel yelled something at them. He appeared to be watching them so the girls ran to the police station and called their parents. The parents later reported the incident to the Sheldon Police Department. No other information is available at this time and the investigation is ongoing.”
Chief Bolkema says that now is the time to be cautious. He says that if you see a suspicious vehicle, try to get the license plate number if you can — but remember that it could just be a similar vehicle. However, for safety reasons, authorities are advising people not to approach a vehicle they think is suspicious, and to call 911.
Bolkema passed along some tips from the Center for Missing and Exploited Children on the most important things parents should tell children about safety:
Always check first with a parent, guardian, or trusted adult before going anywhere, accepting anything, or getting into a car with anyone.
Do not go out alone. Always take a friend with when going places or playing outside.
Say no if someone tries to touch you, or treats you in a way that makes you feel sad, scared, or confused. Get out of the situation as quickly as possible.
Tell a parent, guardian, or trusted adult if you feel sad, scared, or confused.
There will always be someone to help you, and you have the right to be safe.
Hull, Iowa — A Boyden teen was taken to the hospital after an accident near Hull on Monday.
The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 3:55 PM, 15-year-old Justin Schmidt of Boyden was driving a 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix westbound on 310th street, four miles east of Hull, when he lost control of the vehicle, which entered the south ditch and struck a utility pole.
Schmidt was taken to the Sioux Center Hospital by private vehicle.
The Pontiac sustained about $9,000 in damages. The utility pole, owned by Mid‐American Energy,
sustained about $2,000 in damages.
Schmidt was charged with failure to maintain control of vehicle and violation of conditions of a minor’s school license.
The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Iowa State Patrol.
One Homecoming tradition that’s missing from the schedule this year is the Homecoming Parade. Principal Meendering says there were several factors that influenced the decision to not have a parade this year. He cited the busy schedules of high school kids that allows insufficient time for float building and other parade preparation, as well as the close time proximity to the Sheldon Celebration Days Parade, and the safety factor of large numbers of kids trying to quickly make their way downtown after school for a parade as some of those reasons. He said it was decided they would not have a parade this year and see how things go. He stressed that no decision on the status of Homecoming Parades in future years has been decided at this time.
According to Sheldon Police Chief Lyle Bolkema, the incident on Tuesday night in which two girls observed a suspicious vehicle in Sheldon should NOT be termed an “attempted abduction”. He says his office does not have the evidence to support that conclusion at this time.
Here is the official release from the Sheldon Police:
On 09-11-12 at approximately 9:30 PM, The Sheldon Police Department received a report of a suspicious person in the downtown area of Sheldon, Iowa. Two teenage girls were walking in that area when an older male subject with dark shaggy hair driving an older style silver mini-van with a dent in the back passengers’ side panel yelled something at them. He appeared to be watching them so the girls ran to the police station and called their parents. The parents later reported the incident to the Sheldon Police Department. No other information is available at this time and the investigation is ongoing.
This message was released by the Sioux County sheriff’s office:
AT ABOUT 9:30 PM TONIGHT (TUESDAY) TWO TEENAGE GIRLS WERE WALKING IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA OF SHELDON WHEN A MALE SUBJECT IN AN OLDER STYLE SILVER MINI VAN WITH A DENT IN BACK PASSENGER SIDE PANEL YELLED AT THE GIRLS. THE SUBJECT PARKED THE VEHICLE 1/2 BLOCK AWAY AND WATCHED THEM. ONLY DESCRIPTION WAS AN OLDER GUY WITH SHAGGY DARK HAIR. SIMILAR TYPE OF INCIDENT HAPPENED IN SPENCER EARLIER TODAY.