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Suspicious vehicles spotted near school bus stops in New River, Desert Hills

5/2/18

Tara Alatorre
Staff
NEW RIVER –  Suspicious vehicles have been spotted near school bus stops in the New River and Desert Hills communities in the last couple of weeks, and some children have even reported being chased by a truck.

Local parents have reported to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office as well as social media sites that they have seen suspicious vehicles parked near school bus stops in the morning and afternoon.  The vehicles are usually idling near bus stops during the drop off or pick up times with no children that enter or exit the car or busses, and then drive away once the bus has left the location. 

Some parents have even witnessed the drivers of the suspicious vehicles taking pictures of children. 

Last week two children say they were chased by a truck through a church parking lot when getting off the bus in New River afterschool.  The siblings were able to run away from the truck and get help from a woman who was outside getting the mail in the neighborhood.

The mother reported the incident to MCSO, but officers were not able to find the vehicle in the area and no arrests were made. Their mother, who wishes not to be named for safety reasons, says the incident is not isolated.

She says that another girl at her kids' bus stop was chased by the same truck a week prior. 

A truck with a similar description was also reported at three other bus stop locations for suspicious activity last week by parents in New River on the social media website Nextdoor.

The children are describing the vehicle that chased them last week as a large, black or dark blue truck with sun damage and stickers on the rear window.  It is a raised truck, possibly a dually with big air horns (like something you would see on a semi-truck) or antennae on the top.

Other local parents on social media have also reported spotting suspicious vehicles at three other bus stops in the area.

MCSO confirmed that there have been reports from local parents spotting suspicious vehicles at school bus stops in the neighborhoods of New River and Desert Hills.

“MCSO did receive calls of suspicious vehicles at the bus stop,” said MCSO spokesman, Sergeant Calbert Gillett in an email.  “Since the report, deputies went back to the bus stop multiple times and was unable to locate a suspicious vehicle or person.”

Officers have been patrolling school pick-up and drop-off areas in response to the reports, but do not have a suspect description currently. 

Any child or parent that feels they are in immediate danger should call 9-1-1.  The MCSO non-emergency line is 602-876-1011 if you would like to report any information regarding suspicious activity near local school bus stops.