On Tuesday and Friday of last week district students were approached by suspicious individuals in two separate incidents near Westlake Elementary School and Harbor High School. Below are excerpts from the notice to Harbor High parents and the SCPD alert regarding the Westlake attempt. Please speak with your students to remind them to be alert to their surroundings. Please contact SCPD and school officials if you or your student see anyone matching these descriptions or other behavior of concern.
Harbor High School incident, Friday May 7
This morning at approximately 7:15 a Harbor High School student was walking to class down by the football field. When she came around the track she noticed that there was a male, older than a student, wearing a mask (black) walking on the track near the bleachers. He was about 5’9” medium build. He was wearing a grey sweatshirt with the hood over and beige pants. He had old sneakers on. As the student walked along the track, heading up the hill toward the Science building, the man approached her and motioned her to go with him and spoke in Spanish. The student was able to run and get out of the area. Security was notified and administration contacted Police Department immediately.
After the letter was delivered to class, a student came forward and gave the police the following information:
She said that this morning around 7:30 on her way to school she noticed a man near the corner of La Fonda and Soquel getting into a van. He was wearing a sweatshirt with hood and a beanie–he was also wearing a mask. That was why she noticed the man. He was driving an older, full-sized van with darkened windows. the van is gold–and the paint is faded.
Westlake incident, Tuesday, May 4
Attempt kidnapping of 10 year-old near Moore/High late afternoon. 90’s van with rust on front. 2 male suspects.
Santa Cruz Police responded tonight to a report of an attempted kidnapping that occurred late this afternoon on the corner of Moore and High (near Westlake School)in the West Beat of Santa Cruz. The victim, a 10 year-old boy, told police that a van pulls up and the passenger tells him to get in the vehicle.
The kid fled down Moore and encounters a friend and his friend’s mother.
The incident was reported to police a couple hours later this evening by the victim’s father.
Investigators are developing an exact timeline of the events.
According to the victim, the vehicle is a 90’s van with rust on the front and a possible camouflage design.
The driver (male) had a tattoo on his neck and brown hair. The passenger (male) had dark hair and a white shirt. Additional descriptions to follow.
A sketch artist has been called in to work with the victim late this evening. The sketch will be released in the morning as soon as it is available.
Investigators canvassed the area with the victim looking for a similar vehicle without any success.
Santa Cruz Police would like to commend the boy for his actions – he did everything correctly to protect himself during this incident.
Santa Cruz Police Department
155 Center St
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Contact Emergency: 9-1-1