There’s “no evidence” to support rumours of abduction attempts in the Tri Cities area, Coquitlam RCMP said in a news release Saturday (Feb. 6).
Mounties said there have been a growing number of rumours gone viral on Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and other social media platforms about a white van, or another suspicious vehicle, following a woman. The rumours then said that this meant the driver was trying to abduct the woman.
“We have an open mind, but so far there is no evidence to support that any abduction attempt has actually happened. If we see any real risk we will let the public know. In the meantime, we are asking you to stop spreading unproven rumours. Those rumours are scaring people,” said Cpl. Michael McLaughlin.
“We’ve seen people drawing connections between situations and investigations that are completely unrelated and encouraging each other to carry weapons as a result/ Please don’t carry weapons, and don’t try to draw conclusions about crimes based on very basic information.”
Mounties added that there can be any number of reasons why a car might drive slowly through a neighbourhood.
Individuals concerned about their personal safety can follow these guidelines from police:
Be alert and aware of your surroundings
- Avoid distractions (like your phone and earbuds) while you are walking or driving
- Avoid confrontations over driving behaviour or parking spots
- Wear bright clothing and obey traffic safety laws
- Walk with family or in pairs when in isolated areas
- Call police immediately if you feel unsafe or see a crime in progress
Anyone who believes they have been the victim of an abduction attempt, or thinks they saw one, is asked to call their local police right away. Anyone who witnesses a crime in progress should call 911.
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