DARBY TOWNSHIP — Social media is abuzz over potential child-luring incidents that have allegedly occurred over the past few weeks in the Glenolden postal section of Darby Township.
Police Chief Michael Sousa said Wednesday afternoon that he had just discussed with his detectives that day about the incidents that have been posted frequently on Facebook by concerned neighbors.
But, Sousa noted, there have been no phone calls or incident reports made to the department of at least three incidents that allegedly happened in that neighborhood since late May.
“The only information we have right now is through Facebook, no reported calls,” said Sousa. “We’re in the process of going through people who have witnessed these incidents and are reaching out to them (via Facebook).”
Of the information shared on Facebook and by the police is that the alleged suspect is an older white male with long grey hair and missing teeth. He is reportedly driving an older blue pickup truck, potentially a mid-‘80s Ford F250. A license plate and the description of the make and model of the truck was provided by a witness to the Delco Times and given to Sousa late Wednesday, but nothing has yet been verified.
One of the alleged incidents occurred in late May around the 400 block of Park Drive when an older man in a blue pickup pulled over to talk to a 4-year-old boy. A neighbor, the one who got the truck’s license plate number, shouted out to the boy to draw his attention and the truck pulled off. The boy supposedly told the neighbor he did not know the man.
That pickup truck has reportedly been seen in that area around Park and Crescent drives.
Sousa is paying particular attention to an incident late last week involving two young girls.
According to Sousa, the girls were walking home from the Wawa located at MacDade Boulevard and Ashland Avenue in Glenolden Borough. They were walking up Ashland back into Darby Township when a man, reportedly older with long grey hair in a blue pickup truck, made an aggressive move to make contact with them.
“This guy actually prevented them from walking down the sidewalk by putting the car in their path,” he said, referencing a Facebook post about the incident. “This is extremely concerning, because if the allegation is true, and we have no reason that it’s not, we have a suspect who drove up on the sidewalk and they (the public) didn’t let the police know.”
Sousa said detectives are in the process of reaching out to those victims’ families, and the families in other incidents that police have found posted on Facebook. He added that going through the police logs from late May the department has received no calls for any alleged incidents.
No one has been reported injured.
Without any direct information provided to the police, he said the department is in a tough spot in attempting to apprehend the alleged suspect.
“We would have to do our due diligence. At this stage it’s getting him identified that is key,” he said.
If there is an active case of a potential luring, or an immediate suspicion of a person in a similarly described truck, residents are asked to immediately call 911. Any witnesses with information about any prior cases are asked to contact Sousa or Detective Dan Fynes at Darby Township Police at 610-583-3245.