Sheriff: Man in white van asked girl at school bus stop in Veneta if she wanted a ride
Update from the Lane County Sheriff's Office: "This report has been investigated and we have talked to the owner of the van in question. We do not believe that there is a threat to the community in connection with this case, and are no longer looking for the van or the male driver."
VENETA, Ore. - A bearded man in a white cargo van waved to a girl waiting at a school bus stop Monday morning and asked her if she wanted a ride to school, the Lane County Sheriff's Office said.
The girl ran away and contacted her parents, who called the sheriff's office.
Deputies searched the area but were unable to locate the van.
The incident happened around 8:19 a.m. near the corner of Wildwood and Ellmaker roads in Veneta, the sheriff's office said.
The man waved at the girl, then got out of the van and started walking towards her, the sheriff's office said. That's when he asked her if she wanted a ride to school, and the girl ran away.
"The student was able to run to safety because she maintained an awareness of her surroundings and was able to react appropriately when she felt threatened," the sheriff's office said in a statement. "When possible, walk in will lit, populated areas, especially after dark. The buddy system is recommended, as is carrying a way signal that you need help (a cell phone or whistle, for example)."
The suspect is a white man between 30 and 50 years old with a brown and gray beard.
He was wearing a dark-colored shirt, possibly black or brown.
The man had a small white dog with curly hair with him.
The man was driving a white cargo van with a sliding side door and a ladder on top.
"The van had some type of blue lettering on the side, an aftermarket bumper, and possibly a brush guard," the sheriff's office said. "The van is further described as having a lot of trash on the dashboard."
The sheriff’s office is asking anyone who has any additional information about this incident to call (541) 682-4141.