Child snatcher fears

editorial image

A WOMAN and a man are accused of trying to lure young children into a campervan by offering them sweets.

One of the children, a seven-year-old boy, told his mum that the couple inside, a man and a woman in their fifties or sixties with a Jack Russell dog, had told the five children to get in the van and offered them rhubarb and custard sweets.

Tracy Bannister, of Prince Avenue, Carnforth, whose son Leon was spoken to by the couple said: “My husband looked out of our window at the lane and saw little feet under the van.

“He screamed and went running out and started chasing the camper van, which reversed at high speed up the track.

“My neighbour took a picture of the back of the van with the number plate on.

“I asked my son what was going on and he told me what they had said. I then rang the police.

“There were five kids altogether and the van was parked at an angle so you couldn’t see the other side.

“Everyone is shocked. None of the kids have been on there since, they have been playing in the gardens or on the front.

“I thought my kids would never go near strangers, that they would never do it.

“Someone told me they were parked there the day before as well.

“Luckily, two days before this happened, the council came and cut some of the trees down, otherwise they (the couple) could have been away and got them.

“Everyone needs to know about this. I would never forgive myself if someone took a child.”

Panicked parents posted warnings on social media sites Twitter and Facebook about the man and woman, who were parked up on the tipping Lane which leads down to Carnforth Rangers football ground on Thursday.

Since then there have been further reports of the couple being spotted in Morecambe.

Police said three children under 10 were approached on the overgrown track, near the Highfield estate in Carnforth.

Sgt Dave Forshaw of Morecambe Police said: “We had calls from several residents concerned about the behaviour of the occupants of a white campervan parked in Tipping Lane, Carnforth.

“It was said that the occupants were trying to entice children into the van with sweets.

“We are eager to trace the users of this vehicle on that night.

“We would ask if anyone was in Tipping Lane in a campervan at 7pm last Thursday, August 23, to come forward so we can speak to them.

“We believe it was a man and a woman in a white Peugeot campervan.

“No offence has been committed but we are investigating it.

“This is a one-off incident and as serious as it is, there is no heightened risk.

“Parents should always know where their kids are going and tell them not to accept gifts from people they don’t know.

“If children are approached by someone they don’t know and offered gifts, they should tell their parents who should contact police.”

Call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.