Parents on alert after suspicious van spotted

Herman Leong
Herman Leong
Malissa Snyder
Malissa Snyder

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Reports of a suspicious vehicle roaming through the Hickam housing area have raised concern for the safety of kids.

Nimitz Elementary School is on the fringe of Joint Base Pearl Harbor - Hickam, and on alert for possible stranger danger.

"We had more teachers out on duty during recess. I patrolled the perimeter of the campus," vice principal Herman Leong said.

On Thursday the school sent a letter home that said students at nearby Mokulele Elementary School were approached by a man driving a blue minivan. Mokulele Elementary is on military property.

"Is it military personnel, civilian personnel, retired personnel? If this person's on base, how are they getting on base?" parent Malissa Snyder said.

The van had tinted windows and might be a Nissan Quest. The children weren't abducted or hurt. But they said the man who cornered them said in threatening tone, "Where do you think you're going?"

They ran to the school for help.

"When we live on base you feel you're in this safety zone, and that you think nothing can hurt you," parent Ebuw Watts said. "In reality, danger is everywhere."

This is at least the fourth report since December of a blue van cruising military areas and approaching kids. The others happened in navy housing in Salt Lake.

Nimitz Elementary has 680 students.

"We don't want them to be living in fear or over exaggerating or things like that," Leong said. "But we want them to do the right thing, to take precautions when they see a stranger, to walk away, to tell an adult."

Snyder's reminding her two children to watch out for each other.

"Be on the lookout, use the buddy system, don't go anywhere that I don't know where you're at," she said.

Pearl Harbor - Hickam has increased Military Police patrols. If you have information that can help police, call 911.

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