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March 27, 2023

Hollister police seek information in case with girl followed

Courtesy of the Hollister Police Department:
On April 11, 2018, Hollister Police Officers received a report that men in a white van followed a juvenile as she was walking to school. Further investigation revealed conflicting reports of the incident.
On April 11, 2018, about 8:41 A.M. Hollister police officers received a report that two men in a white van followed a female juvenile, while she was walking to school on the 1000 block of Joe Borovich Drive. A caller to the dispatch center reported a juvenile being followed was confronted and a man attempted to grab her.
When Officers arrived, the teenager said there were two men in a white cargo van driving around the neighborhood as she walked by. The van eventually stopped and she felt in fear for her safety and decided to run away from the van. At the time, the juvenile advised the men did not speak to her or make any attempt to grab or forcefully take her.
Sometime after that incident, many social media reports warned of two men in a white van were attempting to kidnap students in Hollister. The posting was shared several times with additional information that the student had been chased by one of the men in the van.
On April 12, 2018, Officers received an additional report regarding a white van. This second report by another separate juvenile advised she had heard about the white van on Snapchat attempting to kidnap students. She saw a van that possibly matched the description that allegedly followed the other juvenile. However, the occupants in this vehicle did not follow, harass or make any overture toward the juvenile.
On today’s date, Officers again spoke with the female juvenile who originally reported seeing the van on April 11, 2018. During this subsequent contact, the juvenile gave the officer conflicting statements. The juvenile reported the passenger in the van did chase her and she ran away but then it approached a second time on Marne Avenue and the passenger chased her again for about half a block. Officers also learned that there had been a witness walking just 15 feet away from the juvenile on the day of the incident and that witness did not see a white van or any men chasing or attempting to grab at the juvenile.
The Hollister Police Department is continuing to investigate this matter. Anyone with surveillance cameras in the area of these incidents is asked to contact police to help in this investigation.
The Hollister police Department would like to remind all persons to be vigilant regarding their surroundings and personal safety at all times. Parents should instruct children to always be aware of their surroundings and report suspicious behavior.
Anyone having information on this case is asked to call Officer Carlos Rodriguez at the Hollister Police Department at 636-4330. Persons wishing to remain anonymous can call the WeTip Hotline at 800-78-CRIME. Information provided to WeTip may qualify for a reward.