Bus Drivers on Watch for Suspicious Man

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. — All schools in the Grants Pass School District are on high alert as police continue to search for a suspicious man.

Last week in two separate incidents, police say a man was trying to lure students into his van and was also taking pictures of them near bus stops. The first incident occurred near New Hope Road and the second one in the area of East Park Street.

The Grants Pass School District is making sure bus drivers are vigilant while on the job.

Bus drivers are looking for a white man in his 30’s to 40’s, with a thin build, dark hair and facial hair. They’re also looking out for an older minivan, possibly gray or teal-blue colored.

The districts transportation supervisor, Cary Smith, says bus drivers are limited in their line of sight but say on the same route everyday, they’re the ones to notice somthing suspicious.

Bus drivers can radio into dispatch, and bus officials can call police.

“I would rather have our officers go check something and have it  turn out to be nothing than not  check something and have it be  a big incident where maybe we could have caught and  prevented something from  happening,” explained Lt. Jim Hamilton.

Lt. Hamilton is one of many officers increasing patrols through neighborhoods.

“We’ve got officers in marked  and unmarked vehicles and  we’re just watching the bus  stops and keeping an eye on  where kids are being picked up,” said Lt. Hamilton.

Police say students can also do their own police work.

“If somebody shows up and they don’t seem right, it’s not a call home, it’s a call to 911. If they’re with a group, and they  see somebody like the  gentleman who was taking the  pictures, they’ve got cell  phones, they’ve got  cameras, start snapping  pictures of it. Do what you can do to record them,” explained Lt. Hamilton.

Three Rivers School District has also been notified of the suspicious man’s physical description and vehicle.