Pittsfield Police: Reports of attempted child abductions were false
PITTSFIELD — It appears stories about a pair of attempted child abductions of city children in March were just that: stories.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the Pittsfield Police Department said it has determined that the children involved in each incident fabricated their accounts of attempts to lure them into vehicles.
"At this time it would appear both reports were false," police said.
The first bogus story was reported to police on March 23 by two juvenile females who said the driver of a blue van tried to lure them inside on their way to school.
One child reported the driver drove past several times, "made a kissing face, whistled, stared," and offered a ride to school.
Police identified the vehicle and interviewed the driver, who admitted to being in the area at the time, but denied any type of encounter with the children.
Police said a "lengthy" investigation involving patrol officers, detectives, crime scene investigators and school resource officers was conducted, which found inconstancies in the children's accounts of what happened.
Police said the family of one child stopped participating in the investigation when confronted with the contradictory information and the other child could not explain why her story did not match, police said.
The second story was reported on March 29 by a male juvenile who said a white male driving a white pickup truck told him to get inside the vehicle while on his way home from school.
A school resource officer and a member of the detective bureau investigated the claim and found evidence that contradicted the child's claim.
When confronted, the child admitted the story was false and no attempt to lure him into a vehicle had taken place.
"We would ask that parents of school-age children take the opportunity to discuss the importance of being truthful when reporting incidents or interacting with the police," part of the statement reads. "Incidents of this nature are given the highest priority over other matters and require a great deal of our finite manpower to investigate."
Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.
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