Comox Valley RCMP have recently received two reports of a man offering rides to females at local bus stops and wish to remind residents to report any and all suspicious activity to police.
On Jan. 20, a 13-year-old girl was waiting at a bus stop in Fanny Bay when she was approached by a man in a vehicle who offered her cigarettes, asked her where she was going and offered her a ride.
On Feb. 3, a 41-year old woman was waiting at a bus stop in Comox when she was approached by a man in a vehicle who asked if she was taking the bus and then offered her a cigarette and a ride.
Both complainants refused the ride and called the police to make a report.
“We are taking this opportunity to remind everyone that it is important to make a call to police when something suspicious happens,” said Const. Monika Terragni, media relations officer, Comox Valley RCMP. “We are thankful for the reports from these women which allowed us to identify this man and follow up appropriately.”
“The information provided allowed us to investigate what the motivation was for offering rides to these women,” added Terragni, who confirmed both incidents involved the same male driver. “Sometimes people think it’s appropriate to offer rides to people, out of the goodness of their own heart. Unfortunately, in these times, it raises a lot of questions… we teach our kids not to accept rides from strangers, so it does raise those questions, especially when they try to entice them with something like cigarettes. So although the act itself may not be criminal, it’s certainly suspicious.”
Although charges are not being considered in this case, Terragni said the information they gathered through correspondence with the man in question will stay on police files.
“If we find ourselves in the midst of a criminal investigation, or a larger-scale investigation, the information that we obtain from files like this may very well come into play later on, so it is super important to be reporting these suspicious events to us.”