Westfield incidents not believed to be attempted abductions

School children made two reports of suspicious activity

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Police believe two reports of children being approached by strange men in Westfield were not attempted abductions.

Capt. Michael McCabe with the Westfield Police Department said in a post on Facebook Thursday that there were two reports over the last two days regarding suspicious activity and school children. The first took place on Tuesday, when two Abner Gibbs students reported being approached by a man as they were walking near the Westfield Post Office. The man was standing near a white box truck and approached them and asked for help with the GPS on his phone. The kids said they could not, and kept walking. The man was reportedly polite to the children, and he did not attempt to grab, chase or follow the kids.

The second report came in on Wednesday, when a student initially reported he was approached by a person in a white van in the area of Oakcrest Drive and Spartan Lane. The person allegedly asked the child for help with his GPS. The parents of the child were initially skeptical, McCabe says, and the child has since changed his story. He now says he saw a white van that appeared to be going house to house, the driver never approached or spoke with him. Police do not believe this to be an attempted abduction.

In his Facebook post, McCabe praised the officers involved for their efforts in the investigation, saying “That response alone shows just how seriously this department takes these types of reports.”