Suspicious gold van spotted in Hadley; two other communities

Police say there were no surveillance cameras in the area

HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – New information from the Hadley Police on the search to find a suspicious man who’s been approaching children.

Police say they’ve been getting a lot of leads, and have learned that the man’s vehicle has been spotted in at least two other western Massachusetts communities. Parents and residents in North Hadley are warning their children and neighbors.

It happened on Sunday, September 11th, in the daylight hours of a quiet rural residential neighborhood. A man in a gold van approached an 11 year old girl and asked her to help him find his lost puppy. The encounter happened on Stockwell Road. There is a posted street sign that says ‘Children.’ Hadley Police told 22News that the girl was walking alone, on her way to go fishing at a nearby lake.

The suspect driving the gold van was described as a Hispanic man with thick curly hair.

Western Mass. children approached by strangers on 2 separate occasions

Ryan Scott, a father of two who lived on Stockwell Road, said, “It’s farm town. This street is really small and all you see are farm vehicles basically. We talked to our kids about it. Just don’t go with anybody and don’t to people they don’t know.”

Hadley Police Sgt. Mitch Kuc told 22News the van was spotted in at least two other western Massachusetts communities. He did not know which ones. Residents are learning about it through social media. “It’s been shared over 500 times and it’s been viewed about 20,000 times so the word is getting out,” said Sgt. Kuc.

Police say there were no surveillance cameras in the area. They’re looking into tips from the community.

“If it had been my granddaughter who lived across the street, I would have been very upset,” said Connie Szelewicki, who lives on Stockwell Road.

As for the girl, she’s okay. She ran away. Police say you should talk to your kids about stranger danger.

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