Law enforcement seeking person involved in suspicious incident at Steamboat elementary school
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 10:40 a.m. Wednesday to include additional information from the Steamboat Springs School District superintendent.
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Local law enforcement officers are seeking more information about a man who allegedly asked an elementary student to get in his car after school Monday.
Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins said a blond man wearing goggles in a dark blue car asked a student to get in the car in the parking lot at Strawberry Park Elementary School. The student did not know the man and refused to get in the vehicle.
• Call Routt County Crime Stoppers at 970-870-6226 or 800-230-9339. You can also give information to Routt County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch at 970-879-1110.
• Text the letters “NABM” followed by your tip to 274637.
• Click the Crime Stoppers/Text a Tip web-based reporting system and complete an online form.
The student boarded his or her bus and informed the bus driver of what happened, Wiggins said.
The bus driver told the elementary school’s administration at 3:25 p.m, said Steamboat Springs Superintendent Brad Meeks. The school contacted a deputy at 3:34 p.m. Wiggins said the deputy advised the school to contact dispatch, as he was in Hayden. The school did this at 3:54 p.m.
The man was gone by the time deputies arrived on the scene.
Meeks sent an email to parents at about 3 p.m. Tuesday informing them of the incident and asking they remind their children of what to do should a stranger approach them. The email was also sent to Steamboat Springs staff members and principals of other Routt County schools.
“We don’t have a whole lot there to be looking for,” Wiggins said. “We have a small blue car with a blonde guy with goggles to look for. Our guys are going to be stationed around the schools and looking for somebody that fits that description.”
Wiggins said the public should report vehicles matching the description.
“As limited as the information is, if they see somebody fitting that description, by all means, please write down the license plate and a description of the vehicle, and if it’s going somewhere, the last known direction of travel,” he said. “That way, at least we can check it out and find out if the person has a legitimate reason for being there, or if they’re acting very suspicious. It gives us a starting point.”
Wiggins said that if someone sees something, it’s best to say something.
“A lot of people are a little bit cautious about reporting something, because they want to make sure they’re reporting something accurate. Sometimes we only have just a little piece of information, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry,” Wiggins said.
“We can stop somebody and check them out,” Wiggins added. “If they check out fine and dandy, we’ll cut ‘em loose and turn ‘em on their way, but when it comes to child abductions and things of this nature, people just need to be very cautious, and if they see something, say something. Let us do our job and help deter this type of activity.”
If you have information about this incident, contact the Routt County Communications Center at 970-879-1110. Students can also use Colorado’s Safe2Tell anonymous reporting system by calling 877-542-7233, visiting safe2tell.org or using the Safe2Tell smartphone application.
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