Police: Suspicious man approaching children in Winter Park and Baldwin Park
Numerous children report being approached, scared
Parents in Winter Park and Baldwin Park are being alerted about a suspicious man who has been approaching children.
So far, at least four cases have been reported involving a white man in his 50s who drives a white work van with a yellow ladder on the roof.
The most recent incident happened on Saturday around 5 p.m. in Baldwin Park, right across from Blue Jacket Park.
According to Orlando Police, the van pulled up next to two girls, 12 and 8, who were sitting in a car in an ally behind their house, waiting for their parents.
That's when the van's driver, who is described as extremely pale and wearing glasses, got out and started walking toward them.
He was just feet away from the children when the 12-year-old became so scared that she set off the car's alarm.
The girls then ran inside, while the man jumped back in his van and took off.
"It's very unsettling, very unsettling," said Baldwin Park resident Pam Cate. "I mean, this is a safe neighborhood, so it's a very scary situation, especially since my son rides his bike here."
"Well it makes me want to be cautious," said Baldwin Park resident Donna Lucier. "It makes me look out for what's going on around me a little bit more."
Meantime, an email sent to parents of Park Maitland students warned of at least two more incidents, including one case near the Windsong subdivision in Winter Park.
In another case, a boy reported an older, pale man, who was driving a van with a yellow ladder, that motioned to him. The incident was enough to scare the child, who hid in a neighbor's backyard near Taylor Avenue until the van took off.
"Hopefully they can catch him, because we want our children to all feel safe," said Cate.
Orlando police are asking anyone who sees the van to record the tag and contact authorities immediately.