Sunday, December 21, 2014
   
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Law Enforcement Agencies: "Stay Alert"

(Le Mars) -- There have been numerous reports within northwest Iowa of a suspicious vehicle or vehicles that have been seen at various locations near school children.  Although no abductions have taken place, parents, teachers, and local law enforcement agenies are on the alert.   Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo says local community residents have been watching for suspicious activity.
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Reports of suspicious vehicles and suspicious activities have been reported in Sioux City, Clay County, Dickinson County, Lyon County, and the most recent event was this past Saturday near Rock Valley in Sioux County.  Van Otterloo doesn't believe the incidents are connected, but he reminds parents to communicate with their children.

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Van Otterloo says the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children offers many tips for youngsters to know what to do for going to and from school.  He says some simple tips is to check first with their parents, walk with other friends, and yell out "No"! if someone tries to touch them.  

Many people wonder why amber alerts are not always issued when such incidents happen.  The missing cousins from near Waterloo did not have an amber alert. Le Mars Police Chief Stewart
Dekkenga says there has to be certain criteria met before an amber alert is issued.
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Dekkenga reminds parents to talk to their children about how to act when strangers approach them. He also asks parents to contact the local law enforcement agencies immediately upon any suspicious activity, and not to wait.
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