Stranger in Van Allegedly Tries to Pick Up Elementary School Student

The alleged incident happened Monday afternoon at Greg Rogers Elementary School in Chula Vista

A stranger described as a bald man driving a windowless van allegedly approached an 8-year-old student outside Greg Rogers Elementary School Monday, telling the boy his mother had sent him to pick him up, school officials said.

Erika Taylor, the principal at the Chula Vista school located at 510 East Naples St., sent a letter home to parents Tuesday alerting them to the incident, which happened just after school let out Monday afternoon.

“A gentleman in a white van with no windows approached a student and told him that ‘his mom asked him to pick him up,’” Taylor letter stated. “The gentleman was bald, with a very thick beard, and was wearing a red shirt.”

According to the principal, the elementary school student acted quickly. He has little contact with his mother, who lives in Tijuana, so he was not sure if the man was telling the truth. The boy ran to the school's main office but told no one at the time, Chula Vista police said.

That night, the boy told his grandmother about the incident, and she told the school the next day. Taylor said the Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) was called to the campus, and a report was taken. The CVPD’s investigation is ongoing.

No further description of the suspect was given. On Wednesday, police said no one could verify with the boy's mother whether she sent someone to pick up her son, so out of an abudance of caution, the school sent out a warning letter to parents.

The principal’s letter went on to remind parents to talk to their children about this type of situation and remind their kids to “say ‘no’ to anything that makes them feel uncomfortable, scared or confused.”

“Tell your children to tell you if anyone makes them feel this way,” Taylor wrote. “There is a difference between reporting, tattling or gossiping.”

Taylor said children or parents with concerns should contact the school’s office or authorities.

Rogers Elementary School is home to students in kindergarten through 6th grade.

Contact Us