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Pleasant Grove looking for ‘suspicious’ man who approached children at Valley View Elementary school

Posted at 9:55 AM, Sep 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-21 20:26:33-04

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah -- A Pleasant Grove mom is sharing her video that shows police pulling over a man in a white truck, and police are now warning parents that the man has been approaching children and they think he was in the area for "nefarious" reasons.

In the video, the mother-- who wanted to remain anonymous-- is heard saying, "That's the truck right there," as a white Chevrolet pickup drives down the street toward them.

It was the first piece of evidence of the truck, that parents say kids have been reporting as driving around the area several times a week after school gets out.

The area around Valley View Elementary School is filled with kids walking home from school every day.

"We've got a great neighborhood, there are lots of parents that are around," said McKenna Ralls, whose two sons attend the nearby school. "I feel really comfortable with them walking."

They walk from the school up a few blocks, then past an LDS church, before turning and walking a few more blocks home.

It's by that church that she said her kids have noticed the weird, white truck.

"This guy's been kind of lurking around," she said.

The mom who took the video of the truck said her son reported the same thing.

"He will come and circle the children," she said, of what her son told her about the man. "He goes around this big block, and the kids see him, and he scares them. He's kind of a creepy guy."

Valley View father Chad Pack described an unsettling experience his 10-year old daughter had during the first week of school.

"She comes blasting in through the front door and said, 'Somebody tried to kidnap me.'" he recounted.

He said his daughter hid behind the couch. They calmed her down to hear what happened.

"A white pickup truck had pulled up next to her, and the gentleman in the truck asked her to get in the truck," he said.

Pack said they called police, but the truck had already left the area and police never found it.

Then this week, "creepy truck guy" came back.

After hearing of another sighting, the mom who took the video decided to walk home with her son from school, she said, to see if she could find the guy.

"Within a minute, we see the white truck come at the street above church," the mom said.

That's when the mother pulled out her phone and began recording. In the video, the Chevrolet truck drives down the street, then turns into the church parking lot.

The mother said her son began to cling to her arm.

"Don't you worry at all," the mom says in the video, to comfort her son.

The mom whispers, "He's in there," as she points the officer over to the church parking lot.

Eventually, the video shows a police officer pulling behind the truck as the man leaves the parking lot.

Pleasant Grove Police issued an alert on Facebook, warning parents of the suspicious behavior by the person.

The mother said the description of the man and the truck-- including the license plate-- matched up exactly with what her son had reported to her.

"To watch it was kind of surreal," the mom said.

Pack indicated that the description from his daughter also matched the truck and description of the man from police, from this most recent incident.

Ralls said she's being extra diligent, as well as talking to her kids.

"No straggling, you stay together and I got my 11-year old a cell phone," Ralls said. She told her son to call 911 if he sees anything that doesn't feel right.

She said she doesn't want her kids to be afraid to walk home from school, she just wants them to be empowered by having the information they need and knowing what to do.

Plus, she and the others know, all the parents in the area will also be keeping an extra watch out-- to make sure this man doesn't return.