Misunderstanding leads to child safety concern

ANDOVER, Kan. (KWCH) UPDATE: Dec 1

The Andover Police Department says an incident reported on Thursday detailing a man and woman in a white SUV following an 11-year-old girl was part of a scavenger hunt.

Police posted an update on their Facebook:

Earlier this morning we were able, through some tips and leads from the public, track down a local business that was doing a holiday scavenger hunt with their employees in the Crescent Lakes area.

There were 6 vehicles involved including a couple of white SUVs and multiple individuals. One of the items on the scavenger hunt list was a picture of a girl walking a dog. We had a similar incident in the green valley area where a group approached a women walking a dog, we started putting things together, and tracked down the business.

We have confirmed that the girl in the Crescent Lakes addition was actually walking her dog at the time of the incident and ran off when approached. The driver of the vehicle confirmed the child’s story. The local business has apologized directly to the family for some poor judgement by their employees.

At no time was any of our children in danger and the Police Department will continue to maintain a presence in our neighborhoods. We still want to stress the importance in immediately reporting any suspicious activity to the police.

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Andover Public Schools sent a note to parents Thursday evening after it had been notified by police that an 11-year-old girl had been followed by strangers.

Police say the girl was walking home in the Crescent Lakes addition when a man and a woman in a white SUV started following her. It happened around 5 p.m., near the park at Westchester and Woodstone.

The girl told police that at one point, the vehicle pulled alongside her and the woman in the vehicle opened the passenger door. That's when the girl ran off.

Police were called about 15 to 20 minutes later. They searched the area but no suspects were located.

Descriptions include a White SUV driven by a white male, mid-40’s, thin build and bald. The passenger in the vehicle was a white female, maybe mid-40s, heavy set, shoulder length blonde hair, wearing a pink shirt.

Anyone who has information regarding the incident or who sees something suspicious is asked to contact the Andover Police Department at 316-733-5177.

"Parents are encouraged to be vigilant," say police.

"Student and staff safety is our top priority and we encourage you to notify the Police if you have any information or ever feel unsafe in our community," said the Andover school district.