Around F.C.

Suspicious Driver Approaches Students; Police Seek Information, Remind Adults to Teach Children about Strangers

On the afternoon of Wednesday, October 12, a man approached a group of students walking home from Oak Street Elementary School and offered them a ride. The students declined and immediately reported the event.

City of Falls Church Police are seeking the suspect, who is described as a white male, about 25 to 30 years old, with a black beard and black hat. The vehicle was either a beige or gray colored sports utility vehicle or sedan. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 703-241-5053 (TTY 711) or email police@fallschurchva.gov.

“The students did the right thing,” said Major Jiwan Chhetri, Deputy Chief of Police. “They removed themselves from the situation immediately and found trusted adults. We applaud these quick-thinking students!”

The City of Falls Church Police encourages adults to teach their children about safety. KidSmartz, a program managed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), provides tips for helping children stay safe.

“The lessons go beyond ‘stranger danger,” said Chhetri. “Not all bad situations are obvious. It may be hard for kids to understand the difference between strangers who could hurt them and strangers who may help them. And, avoiding strangers will not help if the abductor is a family member, neighbor, or family acquaintance. The KidSmartz program helps teach children all of this.”

Find more information on the KidSmartz program at www.missingkids.org/education/kidsmartz.