Police are investigating a report that a man confronted three girls in Dillsburg and asked the children to get into his van, but many parents are upset that it took five days for authorities to release the information to the public.
Most parents heard about the incident through an automated telephone call from the Northern York School District Wednesday evening, five days after it was reported to police.
"It is kind of upsetting as a parent knowing it took so long for the
police to do something or make the public aware," said Kelly Grace,
a mother of two. "We do live in a small town so word gets around pretty
quick, but until you know that police are involved you do not know what
Carroll Township Police Chief Sean Kapfhammer said it is department policy to report such incidents to the public immediately, but the responding officer miscategorized the report as a
our policy that anything newsworthy should be brought to my attention
day or night," Kapfhammer said. "The officer will be counseled on
how to properly grade reports from now on. This will not happen again."
"Human error is something that happens, but hopefully this will make
police more aware in the future that when it comes to our kids you
got to be on top of things, you do not get second chances with kids," Grace said.
Police said the girls, all between
six and nine years old, were playing in their yard in the area of 100 S.
Baltimore Street and Farmer Alley when the man approached them around 4 p.m. Friday.
The man drove a newer model, dark blue
Freightliner van into the alley and asked the girls to get inside, police said. The girls immediately ran into their home and reported the
incident to their father, who called 911.
"Responding officers did do an area canvass and were unable to locate
the vehicle at that time and no one was able to get a tag number," Kapfhammer said. "The girls did the right
thing. Who knows what could have happened if they would have got into
The driver was described as an older, heavyset white man with a white beard and white hair.
"I do not know what his intentions are, but he better hope the cops get him before the moms of Dillsburg do," Madison Grace said. "They're gonna rip him apart."
Police said there have been no reports of similar incidents in the area. They are asking bus drivers who may see the van and the driver while
performing their duties to call 911 immediately and not wait until their
route is complete.
Investigators also released a photograph of a
van similar to the vehicle described by the girls. Anyone with
information is asked to call Carroll Township police at 717-432-3317.
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