Maple Ridge social media lights up with fear of predator – Mounties find nothing criminal

Sighting of a black SUV in Whonnock Thursday sparks call to police after two past incidents

Social media channels were blowing up in rural Maple Ridge Thursday night with rumours and speculation of another attempted abduction.

But police were quick to clarify there’s been no such reports.

Late this evening, Ridge Meadows RCMP received a report of a suspicious black SUV in the Whonnock neighbourhood, the person reporting the sighting fearful it might have been the same vehicle seen more than a week ago involved in one – possibly two – questionable incidents involving possible predator/s.

While police will be looking into the report “very closely,” watch commander Cpl. D. Caughy said there was no indications of a crime committed.

RECENT COVERAGE: Suspected predators have Albion and Whonnock on guard

Two incidents were reported earlier this month. One, where a man was approached while walking in Albion. Two men allegedly asked if he liked 13-year-old girls. He swore at them and threatened to call police. They left, and were seen driving away in a black Land Rover.

Two days later, there was another report – this one confirmed by police – in Whonnock. Police verified they were looking into a suspicious occurrence, but would not offer specifics on the active investigation, Const. Julie Klaussner said at the time. But again, through social media, that one was reported as an attempted abduction of a 10-year-old boy involving a black SUV.

Given what Caughy described as a “substantial amount of social media attention” around these incidents, and concern mounting by residents in east Maple Ridge, he said this latest report simply came in about a similar, suspicious vehicle in the same area of town.

It was not necessarily the same vehicle, and it was not “necessarily committing an offence,” Caughy explained.

Nevertheless, he said Mounties will be investigating further.

• more to come

• If there is more to this issue, please let us know about it. Email us at editor@mapleridgenews.com. We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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