Myrtle Beach police acknowledged an alert circulating on social media that warns about a van whose occupants are allegedly trying to kidnap women, and said police haven’t found any reports or calls for service that match this claim, but asked that people contact police if they have any information on it.
“We are aware of the following message that is circulating around social media. We have checked our calls for service and our incident reports, however, we cannot locate anything that matches this information,” said police in a Facebook post Tuesday.
The message states that the person who posted it was informed that men inside a white construction van have been trying to lure women out alone toward the vehicle in an effort to kidnap them. The message asserts that these men have been active since November and are scouting shopping centers, parks, and libraries and targeting women walking alone.
“... The men in the van have been consistently described as 30’s to 50 and of middle-eastern and Hispanic descent, whereby the man driving is older and the others are in their 30's. They work as a team and their attempts I’m aware of so far, have taken place both at night and during the day. These men are bold and aggressive in their attempts to abduct women. I’ve been asked to withhold the specific details about these women, however I can assure you the accounts are real, but so far have been unsuccessful and only close calls…so far...,” part of the message states, according to the Myrtle Beach Police Department Facebook page.
The message claims these men have hit the Murrells Inlet, Garden City Beach, and Myrtle Beach areas.
Myrtle Beach police said that while they haven’t found any evidence to support this warning, and people who may have any information should contact the law enforcement agency within the jurisdiction in which the incident happened. Lt. Joey Crosby, spokesman with Myrtle Beach police, said authorities are working to trace the origins of the message and stressed the importance of calling police with information.
“As of right now, we don’t have anything to show this occurred, but this is a great example of ... one having situational awareness and being aware of your surroundings at all times, so two, it’s [also] a reminder that if something does happen to contact police the moment it occurs ...,” he said.
He said it’s very important for people to call police immediately, not just if it’s related to this incident, but in any instance if you find yourself the victim of a crime.