A seven-year-old took her parents’ advice to heart last week when she ran home after a stranger offered her a ride.
The girl had been playing in the park at Vital Grandin Catholic School around 11 a.m. on July 22. She was on her way home when the man approached her and asked if she needed a ride. The girl, knowing not to approach the man or his car, ran home instead and told a trusted adult about the encounter.
She described the man as Caucasian, between 30 and 40 years old with short brown hair, a brown beard and tattoos on his forearms. His car was silver with four doors.
St. Albert RCMP reminds parents and caregivers to talk to their children about keeping themselves safe. Children should not talk to strangers and know how to react if approached by people they don’t know (see sidebar).
Police are searching for a stolen BMX bicycle. The bike was stolen from the back of Capital Pizza & Steakhouse on 17 St. Anne St. between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. on July 16. The bike is described as having a blue body, black handlebars and a black seat. It is valued at $810.
Anyone with information about these crimes can call the St. Albert RCMP at 780-458-7700, or if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Police are still investigating if alcohol played a role in a collision on Highway 37 this weekend. Morinville RCMP was called to a two-vehicle crash near Calahoo around 7:30 a.m. on Sunday. A westbound Mazda with three occupants had crossed the centreline and struck a pick-up truck with six occupants, four of which were children.
Nobody inside the pick-up was injured but the three people inside the Mazda were taken to the hospital. Their injuries were non-life threatening. The highway remained closed for the morning but re-opened shortly before noon. The investigation continues.
When dealing with strangers, always teach your children …
• To know their full name, age, telephone number, area code, city and province.
• How to contact you, or another close relative in an emergency.
• How to contact a trusted neighbour, police, fire or ambulance services (911) and when to make these calls.
• When children are home alone they should not answer the phone unless they know who is calling or tell phone callers that you are there, but you are busy and cannot come to the phone
• When children are home alone, find out the identity of the person who comes to the door, without opening the door. If a stranger is at the door, teach your children to tell the stranger that your are busy, and he/she should go away and come back later.
• Teach your child not to engage in conversation with the visitor. If the child feels threatened, teach him to phone an emergency number.
• Where possible, your children should play and walk with other children.
• Your children should always ask your permission before accepting gifts from strangers.
• To avoid situations where strangers may approach your child alone, such as an unsupervised play area, empty lots, abandoned buildings, and/or bushy areas of parks.
• To run home or to the nearest public place, or a Block Parent home, if someone is following or frightening your child.
• If someone follows your child in a car, they should turn around and get away. Run home or to a Block Parent home or the nearest public place such as a school, store, or office. Your child should also try to remember what the driver and car looked like or the licence number.
• That adults, especially strangers, rarely ask children for help in finding things, or for directions. Explain to your child that both men and women are strangers.
• If your child becomes separated from you in a store or shopping mall, to go directly to a store employee or cashier for help.
• That police officers who wear uniforms are their friends and that they can be trusted if your child is in trouble. It is for this reason that you should never use the police as a threat to your child. This will confuse their image of the police.