To The Editor:
On the morning of Tuesday September 24, 2013 I was dropping my daughter off at daycare in Fairfax, VA I had a very uncomfortable event take place. When I was pulling into the daycare center I noticed a man across the street videotaping people coming and going from the center.
Upon pulling in I first pulled my daughter from her car seat in the back and had her sit in the passenger seat in front with me. Then I called Fairfax County Police Department. I wasn’t sure if this man had a legit reason to be standing across the street doing this and I didn’t really care, the whole situation gave me an uneasy feeling.
Once I called the police I hustled my daughter inside. Upon getting my daughter settled in then I headed out the door to head to work. I walked outside and found three Fairfax Police Cars across the street where the guy had been standing with his cell phone videoing. I happened to walk outside just in time because one of the officers was speaking to the daycare center employee who had also called the police about the guy.
She explained he claimed he wanted to start his own center out in Falls Church and wanted to study the traffic flow in and out of the center. He even had emails and other documentation. I still didn’t buy this. The other piece of information the officer shared with us was the following:
There have been several reports around the county that there has been a man taking pictures or videotaping kids outside elementary, middle and high schools. This is the first report they got from a daycare center.
WARNING TO OTHER PARENTS: KEEP AN EYE OUT WHEN YOU’RE DROPPING OFF AND PICKING UP YOUR KIDS FROM SCHOOL OR A DAYCARE CENTER. KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR ANYONE OUT OF PLACE AND THAT MAY BE VIDEOTAPING OR TAKING PICTURES OF THE KIDS AS THEY COME AND GO FROM SCHOOL.
If you see anything like this PLEASE CONTACT the local police department immediately.
From what I could tell from the police officer we spoke to this morning it sounds like this is the first time they have been called and been able to speak to the individual, previous calls or incidents the person has left before the police got there. They didn’t say this person was connected to the previous report s, but keep an eye out. PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE ONTO FAMILY AND FRIENDS WITH CHILDREN.
The more people we get this out to the more likely that either this individual(s) will get caught or will be scared/deterred away from pulling these kinds of stunts any more. Also keep an eye out in your neighborhoods. If you see anyone out of the ordinary let the officials know.
One of my co-workers also told me about an incident in his neighborhood recently. A small blue pick-up had been spotted following kids to and from school and bus stops. The truck didn’t belong in the neighborhood and they got the word out through social media and word of mouth, and sounds like they may have scared the individual off.