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Longmeadow police asking residents to be vigilant after suspicious encounters

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LONGMEADOW, MA (WSHM) -

Longmeadow police are asking residents to be vigilant after a few suspicious encounters Wednesday.

Longmeadow Police Captain John Stankiewicz said an encounter between a 16-year-old girl and a man driving a white or cream colored van was reported Wednesday night.

"The individual asked her if she needed a ride home when she declined or engaged in conversation he asked her just to hop in," Stankiewicz said.

Stankiewicz said the girl was approached on Frank Smith Road around 9 p.m. He said she was frightened by the encounter and ran to a friend's house close by.

After this incident was reported, a warning was posted on the police department's Facebook page and someone reported seeing a vehicle matching the description parked near the lacrosse fields at Glenbrook Middle School.

"It appeared it was strange that a van with an operator in there would be would be watching those individuals, those youths playing lacrosse at that time," Stankiewicz said.

And Stankiewicz said that earlier in the day around 4 p.m. police had received a report of a creepy individual in a white van parked at the Big Y in town.

"These three things may not be related but I just want people to be aware to be cognizant," Stankiewicz said.

At this point police said there is no need to panic, rather he said parents should use this as a teachable moment to talk to their kids.

"They (parents) should engage in conversation with their children just to remind them that if they are approached by someone who they don't know or don't recognize, the best thing is not to get in the vehicle, the best thing is to either run home or go tell an adult," Stankiewicz said.

And as police have not been able to locate their individual they are asking for your help to look out for the van in question.

"What we are looking for now is a white or a cream colored large van, it was described as basically a Dodge Sprinter or a Ford Transit," Stankiewicz said.

The van's license plates are thought to be from Texas. If you see the vehicle you are asked to contact police at 413-567-3311.

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