(SPENCER, IA) Two very similar situations in Spencer and Sheldon Iowa, have parents and kids in both communities on heightened alert.
Police say a suspicious man was spotted in both towns, trying to convince young girls to come over to his van. We spoke with the superintendent in Spencer about his schools' safety measures.
"We want all of our kids to be aware and educated, as to what the types of stranger situations can be, and how to handle them the best way possible to keep everyone safe," says, Spencer School Superintendent, Terry Hemann.
Spencer School Superintendent Terry Hemann says that type of education is a daily thing for schools here in Spencer.
"As a precaution for the rest of the day, we opted to keep all of our students in from recess at our three elementary schools for the remainder of the day," says Hemann.
The incident in Spencer happened right outside Lincoln Elementary school as two girls played during recess time when a white mini-van rolled up and called them over to his van. When this happened, two teachers actually witnessed it and called the police.
Shortly after that incident, a report came in from Sheldon Iowa, a man in a light silver van, parked a half a block away from two teenage girls who were walking in the downtown area, when he called the girls over to his van. Both incidents sound strikingly familiar, and the Spencer Police Chief says, they are doing everything they can to try and find this man.
"Between our incident, that incident, we have multiple agencies out running down some leads, were trying to find this van, were trying to find people who match this description, and were knocking on a lot of doors not only just here in this area, but in other part," says Mark Lawson, Spencer Chief of Police.
The man is described as an older gentleman in his 60's or 70's with dark brown and grey hair, with either a mustache or beard. He is driving either a silver or white mini-van with a possible dent on the rear passenger side.
If you have any information on this man, or see someone that matches this description, you can call the Spencer Police Department.
405 1st Avenue West Spencer, IA 51301