AshCreek incident involving stranger, child and candy prompts county-wide alert

Posted at 11:18 AM, Oct 08, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-08 18:33:50-04

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- The Hanover Sheriff's Office sent an email to neighborhood watch groups across the county after an incident was reported in Mechanicsville's AshCreek subdivision. The incident involved a "suspicious person" driving up to a child and offering the eight-year-old boy candy.

The boy, who was walking his dog at the time, walked away from the stranger and told his mother what happened. She reported the incident to the sheriff's office. Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Chris Whitley said the AshCreek incident was the only incident of its kind the sheriff's office investigated.

"We have received several calls and emails attempting to verify the validity of this information as it has been circulated through email chains and social media," an email from the Hanover Sheriff's Office read. "We wanted to make you aware of the incident so that the information can be shared with your neighborhood."

Whitley said while they believed a stranger offered the child candy, they were not sure of the stranger's intent.

Investigators have not released a description of the stranger nor the vehicle. The sheriff's office increased patrols in AshCreek in an effort to remain visible and ease the minds of neighbors.

The sheriff's office encouraged parents to use this opportunity to talk to their children about stranger danger.

"Please, in your conversation with your children, remind them that they should never speak with strangers and to report strangers that try to make contact with them," the sheriff's office wrote. "Children should also be reminded NEVER to go anywhere with a stranger- no matter what they want the child to do (such as look for lost pets, etc.)"

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil. Watch Wayne's report on CBS 6 News at 5 and 6.