Report of Andover girl followed was mix-up over scavenger hunt

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Andover police say the report of an 11-year-old girl being followed by two people in an SUV on Thursday turned out to be a mix-up because of a scavenger hunt. 

The girl told police she was near the park at Westchester and Woodstone while walking home and was being followed by a man and a woman in a white SUV. 

"At one point the vehicle pulled alongside her and the female passenger in the vehicle opened the passenger door, at which point the young lady ran off," Andover police said in an earlier Facebook post.

On Friday, police were able to track down a local business that was doing a holiday scavenger hunt with their employees in the area.

"There were 6 vehicles involved including a couple of white SUVs and multiple individuals," police said. "One of the items on the scavenger hunt list was a picture of a girl walking a dog. We had a similar incident in the green valley area where a group approached a women walking a dog, we started putting things together, and tracked down the business."

Police said the 11-year-old was walking her dog at the time of the incident and ran off when approached. The driver of the vehicle confirmed the child's story.

"The business has apologized directly to the family for some poor judgement by their employees."


Previous story:

Andover schools sent out an email Thursday evening following a report of an 11-year-old girl being followed by a man and a woman in a white SUV.

"This evening we received notice from Andover PD that we feel should be shared with you. Below is a message from the Andover Police Chief:

This evening, sometime before 5:00 p.m., an 11-year old female in the Crescent Lakes addition, near the park at Westchester and Woodstone, reported that while walking home she began being followed by a man and a woman in a white SUV. At one point the vehicle pulled alongside her and the female passenger in the vehicle opened the passenger door, at which point the young lady ran off. Approximately 15 to 20 minutes later after arriving home, the Police were called. Officers immediately saturated the area but were unable to locate any suspects. 

Description that we currently have is a White SUV driven by a white male, mid-40’s, thin build and bald. The passenger in the vehicle was a white female, maybe mid-40s, heavy set, shoulder length blonde hair, wearing a pink shirt.

If anyone has information regarding this incident, they are asked to contact the Andover Police Department, 316-733-5177. Parents are encouraged to be vigilant and we will have extra officers in the neighborhoods over the next several days. Additionally, if anyone sees a suspicious vehicle or suspicious person(s), PLEASE CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY! Notifying Police quickly significantly increases our chances of successfully keeping our community safe.

Student and staff safety is our top priority and we encourage you to notify the Police if you have any information or ever feel unsafe in our community."

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