Pleasant Ridge School District parents were on high alert after they received an automated phone message Monday, notifying them that a man reportedly tried to lure a student into his pickup truck Friday.
The girl declined, left the scene and reached home safely, eventually sharing word of the incident with her parents the following day. A report was made Saturday with the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office.
The Magnolia Intermediate School student reported a man in a red truck offered her a ride, according to Pleasant Ridge Union School District Superintendent Rusty Clark. The student refused, the man insisted, and the student refused again and walked home, which was nearby, he said.
The student notified her parents, and the sheriff’s office was contacted Saturday, Clark said. A notice to parents and other Nevada County superintendents was sent out late Monday morning with a description of the truck to alert parents and encourage discussion with children about safe pathways to and from school.
“I want to thank parents and community members for watching out for our children as they go to and from school,” Clark said. “We have nothing at this point. It’s in the county sheriff’s hands.”
According to the sheriff’s office, the incident was reported at about 10 p.m. Saturday, including that a red 1970s pickup truck, believed to be a Chevy or GM, approached the student Friday after school.
“That was all we have,” said Nevada County Undersheriff Joe Salivar. “We don’t know if he was trying to give her a ride, but he didn’t take any steps, so this seems to be more of a suspicious circumstance at this point.”
Such incidents are not common, Salivar said, and the sheriff’s office is providing extra patrol, especially during after-school hours.
Salivar advises that students should not get into vehicles with strangers or engage in conversation with strangers, and parents should, if possible, wait at the bus stop for students after school. Students should call parents or 911 if an emergency situation arises, he added.
“Obviously, don’t get in vehicles with people you don’t know, try to walk in groups of two or more. Don’t engage, don’t stop, don’t talk to strangers,” Salivar said. “There’s no reason to go near the vehicle, and if things get dicey, start running home or to a neighbor’s house if somebody’s home.
“If something looks suspicious, give mom and dad a call,” Salivar said. “Be aware, be alert and don’t accept rides from strangers.”
To contact the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office with information, call 530-265-1471.
To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4230.
“We don’t know if he was trying to give her a ride, but he didn’t take any steps, so this seems to be more of a suspicious circumstance at this point.”
Nevada County Undersheriff Joe Salivar