Police investigate complaint of man in van

Police are investigating a report from a teenage girl that a man tried to lure her into his vehicle in a Center Grove area mobile home community.

The 16-year-old told police she was walking to the office at 3:30 p.m. Monday at Center Grove Estates to drop off a check when a man in a van asked her for her name. She refused to tell him, and the man ordered her to get into his van, according to the police report.

The girl ran away and called police, telling them the man was in his 50s or 60s in a blue and purple Volkswagen van, the report said.

On Tuesday, an investigator worked to track the vehicle and found it in the mobile home community, Sheriff Doug Cox said.

The man who owned the van told police he did talk to the teen Monday but that he believed she was a former baby sitter and had only asked her for her name, Cox said.

The man denied trying to get the girl into his vehicle, Cox said.

Police continue to investigate, he said.

No matter what the details of the investigation show, Cox said, the girl did the right thing by calling police.

“The important thing is the girl did what she thought was the right thing. Even if she did misunderstand, she did the right thing,” Cox said.

Investigators wanted to be sure to try to find the man during the day Tuesday, before kids returned home from school, said Maj. Bob Sexton, investigations commander.

“With children involved, that raises the importance level immensely,” Sexton said.

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Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at agoeller@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2718.