More police patrols after reports of person in van luring kids with puppies, candy
CLEVELAND, Texas (FOX 26) - The Cleveland ISD Police Department is investigating reports from students of a male, and sometimes a male and a female, in a white van attempting to lure students to approach the vehicle by offering to show them a "box of puppies" or the "gift of candy".
Police say students who ride school buses in the Bella Vista neighborhood off of FM 1010 in Cleveland ISD reported the van. The vehicle is described as a big white work van of unknown model with cardboard covering the area where the license plate should be and very dark windows.
Police say students report a male with a beard and dark sunglasses inside the van and sometimes a female occupant in the vehicle, as well. Police say no student to their knowledge has approached the van.
The Cleveland ISD Police Department is interviewing students and bus drivers about the vehicle, and officers will have an increased patrol presence in the neighborhood to ensure students' safety.
Police are now trying to determine whether this van and suspect are the same as those involved in a January vehicular assault incident around a mile from the Bella Vista bus stops.
“Same description of a van, and also same type of suspect description in the van,” said Chief Rex Evans from Cleveland ISD Police Department. “They used the van as a weapon, striking a game warden while he was on foot.”
Operation Game Thief is offering a $10,000 reward for the arrest of a suspect in that case.