ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office Special Victims Unit found that three suspicious incidents in the past week reportedly involving a white van and school buses are not connected and involve three different drivers and vehicles.
The first incident took place on Friday, when a 14-year-old girl reported that a white van followed her after she got off the bus near State Road 16 and Rues Landing Road, according to SJSO Cmdr. Chuck Mulligan. Deputies later found the man in the vehicle was talking on his phone at that time and no attempt was made to make contact with the girl.
The second reported incident took place on Monday, when a white van was reportedly circling a school bus near a bus stop by the outlet mall. Investigators found that what actually transpired was a driver asking a mother, who accompanied her child to the bus stop, if she needed a ride when she got caught in the rain while walking home. The driver did not take any inappropriate actions toward the adult, Mulligan said.
A third incident was reported on Tuesday near Pearl and McLaughlin streets, when a man in a white van reportedly took photos of two elementary school-aged girls as they walked home from the bus stop. After information was released to the media, several tips helped to locate the man, who said he was just holding his phone at the time and did not communicate with the girls or take photos of them. Investigators examined his phone and this "eliminated him from any illicit acts," Mulligan said.