Merced Girls Report Being Followed

5/24/2008 Merced, CA The first victim, a 15 year old high school girl says she was walking home when a man in a red pickup started following her. She went to Tenaya Middle School for help.

Police weren't able to find the suspect, but the next day, a man matching the same description was following another girl, on the other side of town.

Commander Floyd Higdon of the Merced Police Department tells us, "Two incidents two days in a row, we're not sure it's the same person or the same vehicle but its close enough we're taking notice of it."

The first incident occurred Thursday afternoon near Tenaya Middle School. The second occurred Friday morning near Hoover middle school.

In both incidents the suspect was in a red or maroon pickup truck, possibly a Toyota.

In the latest incident Higdon says the suspect attempted to lure the girl into his vehicle. "The male actually made verbal contact with her asking her, 'Hey, come on over here.'"

One girl got a partial license number of the suspect's vehicle. It is 4N9573. Just one number is missing and DMV computers are looking for a possible match.

The Merced City School District is taking the incidents very seriously. They alerted teachers, students and parents to the potential danger by cell phone and e mail.

Doug Collins, Principal of Tenaya Middle school says, "We sent it to all staff on campus and encouraged them to have that discussion in the classroom about safety and walking in pairs, and numbers and safety in numbers and this afternoon we sent the phone call home in English and Spanish for parents to have the same conversation."

Police can't say if any crime has been committed but until they find out what's going on they are urging girls to walk to school with friends.

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