Friday, August 28, 2009

Another predator cruising Orland Park streets?

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First it was the White Van last Spring. Now, it's an "older, economy-style van (dark blue with a white stripe) that slowed down near 151st and Orlan Brook Drive this morning following a young female 8th grader near Jerling Jr. High school. The driver appeared to be male, between 55 and 60 years old, according to the report issued today by District 135 Supt. Dennis C. Soustek.

The student acted wisely and turned to go to a friend's home right away for help and the van followed her. When the friend and friend's parent walked out, the van sped away.

"Incidents like these are an unfortunate reminder that children must always be aware of their surroundings and cautious as they walk to school, especially if they walk alone," Soustek said.

"We have been in contact with the Orland Park Police, and they plan to be on special alert. We are grateful for their assistance, and for yours, in being vigilant and supportive of our community-wide effort to keep our students safe."

Soustek said more information would be published on the District 135 school web site at as it becomes available.

You see a dark blue van, older with a white stripe. Better to be safe than sorry and call the police.

Orland Park has the toughest and best police in the Southwest Suburbs. They know what to do.

We don't want another incident like the one in South Lake Tahoe involving the kidnapping of 11 year old Jaycee Dugard 18 years ago and held captive by a deranged sex maniac who then fathered two children. Fortunately, Jaycee was discovered. Maybe her kidnapper rapist, Phillip Garrido, will get the maximum punishment of death. Stealing a child's life deserves nothing less. People used to call Garrido "creeping Phil." He fit the profile, but no one bothered to even look.

Don't be the neighbor who sees the van and worries "what if it isn't?" when stopping it doesn't hurt anyone but only helps if it is.

Be safe, not sorry!

-- Ray Hanania

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