Brave Jindera girl approached by man in a van escapes ‘stranger danger’

Albury police Inspector Scott Russell
Albury police Inspector Scott Russell

A 10-year-old girl has been praised for her bravery in riding away from a stranger who tried to lure her into his van in Jindera.

Inspector Scott Russell said despite people being in the area, the man stopped and asked the girl if she wanted to look at his dogs, then stepped out of the car.

“Bravely that young girl hopped on her bike and continued to school and reported it to a teacher, who alerted authorities,” he said.

“We saturated the area, but unfortunately we didn’t locate the van.”

The girl was doing well when she gave a statement to Albury police on Thursday.

The man is described as being aged in his 50s, 170cm to 180cm tall, with a pale complexion and brown hair with grey patches and balding at the front.

He was wearing a black T-shirt with a grey skull on the front, black tracksuit pants with an orange stripe down the sides, brown slip on work boots and dark sunglasses.

“It certainly is concerning to us as police and also to the community. There’s been several reports recently so we’ll be on this and hopefully identify this person,” Inspector Russell said.

“Prior to this there was a similar incident at Walla, we’re re-looking at that and investigating both those as a current incident.”

But he said children were still safe to walk in the street.

“Although this is a concerning incident, we would encourage the community to go about their business in a normal way, but report any suspicious behaviour,” he said.

“It goes back to the old-fashioned stranger danger and I urge the parents out there, or the carers, of school-aged children to have that conversation.”

Anyone with information on the wanted man can contact Albury police on (02) 6023 9299 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.