Suspicious White Van Reports Have Parents on Edge in Southern Humboldt

White VanA white van with a driver behaving suspiciously has been the subject of at least two reports circulating in social media over the last week in Southern Humboldt.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received one report. According to Samantha Karges, a spokesperson for the department stated,

On Sept. 12, just before 5 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a Redway residence for the report of a suspicious circumstance that had occurred earlier in the day.

According to the reporting party, her son was dropped off by his school bus on the 500 block of Redway Drive that afternoon As the juvenile began walking to meet his mother at her workplace on West Coast Road (approx. ½ mile walk), he noticed a white van seemingly following him. The juvenile ran to a local coffee shop for help.

We are still investigating this incident and have no further details at this time.

However, we do encourage parents to teach their children about being aware of their surroundings and trusting their instincts about a situation. While we are still investigating the intent and circumstances of this incident, the juvenile absolutely did the right thing in getting to a safe place and calling for help.

Another report in social media indicates the driver might have tattoos.

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81 comments

  • Thank you Kym for posting this!!

  • Smart kid, his parents taught him right.

  • seemingly? sounds like nothing, but the typical excuse to spread fear for no reason: watch out for white vans! watch out for all vans, watch out for all cars, evil is lurking everywhere. right…

    • Dumbest comment I’ve read in a long time .

    • There have been several people that have had weird interactions with the same white van the other one I’m aware of was a young boy about the same age as this kid.Its always better to be safe than sorry there’s a lot of missing kids out there so trust your instincts it probably saved that kids life you probably didn’t read the original post by the mom I would have been freaked out also if I was that kid

      • Who says it’s the same van? How do you know so much. Come on now. Fear makes us come up with all kinds of maybees and possibilities and assUptions

        Yes 100% the kids did what he thought was right. It may have saved his life…But to add in your “details” about the “same van” is total bs. If so many people have been scared by this van then why doesn’t anybody know the liscense plate?

        Teach the kids to write down liscense plates too
        At least a few digits

    • It isn’t trying to spread fear across the community it’s to make the community aware of POSSIBLY something suspicious. It’s great that this kid was aware of his surroundings and noted something strange. Better than to brush it under the rug. You never know now a days.

    • Okay the only point that I can just say you may be making just to be nice is that maybe people are jumping to conclusions but do you have kids and if you did and they told you that they were being followed by somebody and they felt like they were in danger would you not take them seriously acts like they’re being crazy would you push it off like it’s just a suspicion not to mention that yeah taking down a license plate is helpful but you don’t always have that time frame to feel safe either and get information in the same time that because a kid felt unsafe and then reported it that you think that this is some way to just spread fear for no reason I mean this is the real reason why people don’t even report anything

    • the misadventures of bunjee

      The trolls are up early today.

  • Absolutely nothing indicates something happened. A van going slow? Whoop de do. I drive slow when theres kids around as well. Very slow cause you never know when they will dart out in the road. Im not saying to not be cautious but this case sounds like nothing

    • Tell your kids to be vigilant

      I would have been suspicious as an adult had I seen a white van going slow enough to stay behind a walking me from the shell station to west coast road. I read the social media post and the 12 yr old child said that the van came through the shell station parking lot after him, and then stayed behind him as he walked down redwood drive. That’s a red flag and a half. I personally wouldn’t let my 12 yr old walk that road at all but my understanding is she works and doesn’t really have much choice

  • I know a few months ago there were reports in Hoopa about a white van actually trying to abuduct kids. They never found the van, and the kids luckily escaped. I think crimes against kids should be automatic death penalty.😵

  • Whats the other incident?

  • Wasn’t there a report of a suspicious white van somewhere else in the county a couple weeks ago?
    But like another commenter said, there’s no reason to get too worked up over it, in a typical year there’s about 100 kids that are kidnapped by strangers in America, that’s actually a real low number considering our population. Most child abductions are by family members and most missing children either get lost or run away.

    http://www.pollyklaas.org/about/national-child-kidnapping.html

  • There were a few incidents a few months back in the Hoopa area. I don’t remember the vehicle discription. It’s a good conversation to have with kids for sure. Some predators of children spend time luring them into a trusting relationship in order to later exploit them, it’s not just about kidnapping. Following them can be a way to identify plausible victims and learn their schedule and other information.

  • All white vans are suspicious.

  • My advice to Redway:

    Take down those fences.

    Take fewer drugs.

    For everyone else: Be suspicious of anyone at all who is hanging around or living in Redway.

    • And:

      Drive your kids to and from school. 7 years old is too young to be walking around a sketchy-ass town like Redway. If you don’t want to lose them, keep your eyes on them…

      • In both incidents the boys are12 year olds. One boy got followed from his school bus stop at the Babtist church to the Shell station, down Redwood drive to West Coast Rd, then turned up West Coast still following the child. That young man ran back to the Coffee Shop and hid there until he could call his Mom who works at RRHC. The other incident was a young man (also 12) was hanging Yard sales signs on Sunday and was followed by a man in white Van, he was scared and ran home. In both cases the boys described the same man covered in Tattoos in a white van….

  • I cannot believe the comments here. Unbelievable. It’s better to be safe than SORRY! It only takes a few minutes to ruin a life. Idiots.

  • Yeah well a “white van” was reported in the DC Sniper case years back. LEO’s spent time and money for days searching for snipers in a “white van.” We saw the news footage of the so-called “suspicious vehicles” being stopped all over the area. The racist killers were in a dark sedan with a sniper perch rigged in the trunk. No white van had anything to do with it. A ghost in the dark ….

  • The same thing happened to me 65 years ago. Guy offered me a ride, then followed me for several blocks, told me he was my neighbor, persisted….the local police station was on my route home. I went there. I was 7 years old.
    He vanished,😊

  • Really I am shocked at some of the responses that think this is funny. This happened to me as a child and fortunately my parents had taught me right and I ran into the closest house. It is frightening for a child or even an adult. It’s better to be aware and let the public know. If the public wasn’t aware then they would complain what why didn’t somebody tell us? Thank God the young man is safe whoever he is he did the right thing

  • I have seen this behavior with a child molester who cruised the bus stops before and after school where I taught previously. He had molested several kids. He now owns a white van and I saw him on fourth of July in Eureka in the van. Probably not the same man as this one is white no tattoos and nearly 80 years old. Please take this suspicious vehicle and behavior very seriously

  • thank You Kym for getting the information out about this incident. That’s more then the local sheriffs did. You would think the wild have made a press release and said be on the look out after this happening two times in redway in a week. Kidnappers are opportunist’s. Just because a kid hasn’t been taken yet doesn’t mean it won’t happen it just means the person hasn’t had the perfect opportunity. So glad this boy ran to get help!

  • Self-defense as a last resort is also a worthwhile endeavor. Eyes, groin, throat, ears, temple, etc. Doesn’t hurt to let a kid know what it feels like to be attacked, and that they can fight back. I’m teaching my ten-year-old daughter Kung-Fu as well as “dirty” street tactics.

  • unfortunately, people are just randomly posting pictures of white vans. …..Any white van…on other social media sites. So– any white van-type vehicle, be it a company vehicle, a family vehicle, or just a completely innocent WHITE VAN driving down the street…is under suspicion? Wow. Seems too many people just want to “be a part” of whatever it is that’s going on out there.

  • As far as I know from FB posts the other incident was in Lower Redway and happened a few weeks ago. A boy felt uncomfortable when a white van lingered near him when he was putting up flyers. Yesterday he identified the type of white van from pictures a local took of different types of white van. All that is described in the What’s Going on Redway FB group.
    There are a few things that confuse me about the incident on Tuesday. If that boy’s school bus dropped him off across from the laundromat, then he had to walk down Redwood Drive all the way to West Coast Road. That is a pretty long stretch for a 7 year old, but it is also a very busy road, especially at that time of day. So how can a person in a van drive slowly enough without backing up traffic? I get that the van could have turned onto WC Road and driven slowly then. The first part is a bit confusing.
    I certainly would not let my 7 year old walk that far along a busy road, through the Shell intersection, past cars pulling out from Debs, Kris’s, the coffee stand etc.
    However, I do applaud the boy for following his instincts and running to the coffee stand. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry. I suggest that the mom finds a ride for him from Leggett to RRHC where she works, or could the dad pick him up? There are other kids who live in So Hum who go to school in Leggett. Or if this is such a big problem how about transferring him to Redway School where he could definitely get a ride to her work. Or, take a 10 min break from work and go and pick up your kid.
    Bottom line though. Protect your kids from potentially dangerous situations, even without creepy people in vans, that is a very busy street. And talk to them about stranger danger and if the kids are old enough how to try and get a thorough description of the predator and/or his/her vehicle.

  • ***********************ATTENTION HCSO************************************

    Anonymous Tip:

    I may have also seen this van. Sometime between 5:00 & 6:00 pm (certain in this time frame, unsure of exact) in Rio Dell headed to Scotia.

    I pulled out behind a white van that had just stopped in the middle of the road at the bridge headed south on Wildwood. It appeared as though me pulling out behind them startled them and they quickly continued across the bridge. This seemed very suspicious to me.

    There were two kids on the side of the road going under the bridge when this van stopped. It immediately seemed suspicious to me. I followed this van into the Hoby’s Parking lot (headed there anyway).

    The white van pulled into Hoby’s parking lot and parked in a space on the left closest to and facing the sidewalk/street. No one got out of the van at first. I continued into Hoby’s and got food. On my way out two people walked in the store from the van. THESE PEOPLE were very suspicious acting and up to something…..

    Description:

    Person 1: appeared LMA ~mid-late 40’s early 50’s. Very short and thin build. Stubbled facial hair. He was not to happy when I made eye contact with him and was acting suspicious.

    Person 2: appeared LFA ~ mid 30’s? Women was taller than male, maybe 5’8″+ . She was not to happy when I made eye contact with her either and she also seemed suspicious and pissed.

    *****Hoby’s Security cameras should be able to get a plate.*******************

    When I read this article I almost threw up b/c these people and van seemed very suspicious…….

    P.S. You may be asking why not contact HCSO directly? Simple, I have found the HSCO to be completely unresponsive in matters in the past and I really don’t trust them anymore. The above account is all I know, so I hope this can help in some way.

  • Thanks Kyme,
    you’re a treasure.

  • My opinion; probably too much helicopter parenting going on. Come on I think perverts are a little more sophisticated these days… don’t be so worried about a white van, keep an eye on your creepy uncle or the too cool coach or whatever.

    • Exactly emily
      I hate to stereotype but its true they usually are after females or little little kids. If the mom is worried and we all know how redway can be why would you let him walk alone a half mile hmmmmmmmm

  • Aren’t there tons of white Van’s in sohum? It’s the vehicle of choice for transportation of weed.

  • I wrote a long post this morning and it’s not here. Any reason why?

  • There was actually a convicted pedophile in this county that drove around in a van with a very large Tweety Bird on the side of it.

  • until a penis, knife, or gun is spotted,
    all white vans should be presumed innocent…

  • The comments that are allowed are insane. Hopefully the child doesn’t read them. Most of you have some serious mental problems. The bystander effect is real!!! Nothing is wrong getting a suspicious van checked out by the police… 100% better than the possibility of anything happening to a child. Call the cops and if the person checks out, zero harm in that, well worth the risk. Protect children, listen to them.

  • sounds like you want a police state humloc
    why not just check every car every day?
    feel safer then?
    wonder what they’d find in yours
    your opinion is very suspicious,
    maybe we should all have tracking chips in our necks,
    would you feel safer then?
    suspicious van: click bait, Kymmie just made another dollar…

  • Only 3 weeks ago a “suspicious” person was beaten so badly by a vigilante mob outcry responding to comments here that he died from his injuries without ever being able to have his day in court. Now his family is trying to cope with the aftermath.

    • What person? Where?

    • That isn’t what happened according to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. According to Samantha Karges, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office,

      Patrick Delaney was a person of interest in the attempted child abduction case on Aug. 14. According to witness statements, prior to our arrival on scene, Delaney was in a physical altercation with Loleta residents in the area of the attempted abduction. Later that night Delaney was arrested by the Fortuna Police Department on unrelated charges. When officers with Fortuna PD attempted to book Delaney into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility, medical staff found that Delaney had attempted to conceal a baggie of methamphetamine in his mouth at the time of his arrest. The methamphetamine had dissolved by the time the officers attempted to book him into our facility. Delaney was refused by our medical staff and transported via ambulance to a local hospital, where he was cited and released on the Fortuna Police Department charges. [He was transported to the hospital via ambulance. He never left the hospital.] Delaney was pronounced deceased on August 23. The Coroner’s Office completed an autopsy on his body today and have determined his cause of death to be Multi-System Organ Failure due to accidental methamphetamine overdose. Delaney’s injuries sustained due to the physical altercation mentioned above were not life threatening and did not cause or hasten his death.

      Note: the beating occurred on the 14th. Our article appeared on the 16th.

      According to the Sheriff’s timeline, Delaney went to the hospital soon after his arrest and stayed until he died on the 23rd. He didn’t die of injuries but rather from a massive overdose.

  • there was a young woman that went missing on redwood drive a while back. she was a mom.just saying.

  • Not every van is driven by a perv but every perv drives a van.

  • That’s it we need to ban vans! Come on California we can be the first state. or at minimum have a 10day waiting period before you can buy a van and it can only hold 9kids, it’s for the children, think of all the children it will save, it might not help but something has to be done!

  • Black SUV’s also drive up on you fast and furious, toss you in the van and take off before you have a chance to scream. (I watch NCIS).

    I applaud the child for being aware of his surroundings and for taking the action necessary to achieve safety.

    I am appalled by the parent who reported every step of the child’s every day path from the bus to his destination. WTF?!

    I am frightened for the community members who are stuck in the ‘white van’ drama instead of expanding their awareness to every strange threat whether van or motorcycle, white or red.

    I am overjoyed that the child is safe.

    The Red Sand Project is a community awareness project that might be of interest.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOCwOmHv3gA

  • Run Forest Run!!!

  • Does anybody remember the old “Chester the Molester” cartoons? This reads like something out of a Chester cartoon. The guy probably has a large mouth and excess saliva as well.

  • I just did a Google search on “Child Molester Images” Some really creepy looking dudes there! A large proportion have somewhat rubbery facial features. I wonder why? Very few appear wholesome. One is all bunged up with black eyes, bruises and fat lips. Apparently he was caught by the father of the child and he received a few taps for his efforts. Funny as hell!!

    • “Very few (child molesters) appear wholesome.”

      The opposite of wholesome is…”contaminated”.

      • Come on now, people. As a childhood victim of three perpetrators and a friend of many other victims I can tell you that my survey says that most molesters (all three of mine) are very pretty people. I don’t think that proves anything. The fathers, grandfathers, uncles and (yes) mothers, and teenage girls who molelsted my friends were an average cross section of our communities. Perhaps they look a lot less pretty when they face the camera after an arrest. Or perhaps, as in my case, the pretty ones go unpunished.
        Just to allay your nightmares: many of my abused friends have substantially healed. It’s not easy and it takes a long time, especially in the face of ignorance, fear, violent reactions and denial. After 50 years of hard work, first to survive then to heal, I was pretty OK. These days I’m happy, healthy and usually at least as good and effective a person as I would have been. Some of my friends have lost the battle and the long healing process has made life more difficult for most of us.

  • i know this isnt a joke and i was taught as a kid to walk towards traffic so at least they would have to cross the street to abduct me

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