StarkeJournal.com

A service of the Bradford County Telegraph, Inc.

In UC, suspicious vehicle goes viral

On Wed., Sept. 18, Union County residents reported seeing a suspicious vehicle around S.W. First Way and S.W. Eighth Place in the Westside Park area behind Spires IGA store. Witnesses stated the vehicle was a tan-colored SUV and driving slowing possibly watching children.

Shortly after calling the Union County Sheriff’s Office, investigators and patrol units stopped a vehicle matching the description still in the same area and made contact with a 48-year-old white male that stated he was just driving around the area. A search of his vehicle did not reveal anything suspicious or illegal.

Investigation and interviews over the next few days revealed that the suspicious vehicle/driver never spoke to any children anywhere within Union County or Lake Butler area. Within 24 hours of the traffic stop, Facebook posters stated a fictitious story about a possible attempted child abduction that occurred warning everyone in Union County about this incident. Posters attempted to link it to another report of a suspicious vehicle that occurred weeks earlier in Raiford.

In both cases the sheriff’s office would like to commend and applaud active neighborhood watch groups for seeing the suspicious vehicle. They report that no crime has been committed but one never knows what crime is avoided by calling in any and all suspicious behavior. It is the community responsibility to continue to work together and report any suspicious behavior. UCSO takes all calls seriously and will respond to any and all suspicious person or vehicle calls.

Also in the event that a serious emergency happened, such as a child abduction, UCSO would send out a CODE-RED telephone emergency to the neighborhood or area, or county-wide if needed. CODE-RED would call your home phone or cell phone, if registered, and report the necessary emergency information. Find out more at www.unionsheriff.us and click on the link for “CODE RED.”

Report any criminal behavior to UCSO at 386-496-2501 or anonymously to First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).

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