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False Reporting Charges Filed In ‘White Van’ Cases In Douglas County

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Charges have been filed against two people accused of making false reports to police in Douglas County. In both cases they claimed a man in a white van approached them.

When authorities warn the public of a suspicious white van they know their phone is going to ring because white vans are very popular.

In Douglas County a young woman said a Hispanic man approached her near her home in Highlands Ranch. She claimed the driver of the white van asked her to go with him and she refused.

Three days later and just 5 minutes away a second woman said a dark skinned man put his arm around her in a Taco Bell parking lot. She told police she pushed him away and he left in a white van.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office rushed to warn the public.

“We do put a significant amount of resources on those types of calls, and it’s immediate,” Sgt. Ron Hanavan with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said.

Just 4 days later Parker police were called to a park where two young children under the age of 10 claimed a driver of a white van offered them candy. Within hours the report was ruled not credible. But Parker police did contact the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, and they weren’t alone.

“We’re getting dozens of calls on a daily basis,” Hanavan said. “In this type of scenario they will literally report every single white van or vehicle that they see.”

For 6 days the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office took calls about white vans until the teenager in the first incident and the woman at the Taco Bell both admitted they made it all up.

They both are being charged with false reporting to authorities. Filing a false report is a Class 3 misdemeanor. It carries a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and up to a $750 fine. Unless it gets expunged it’ll stay on a person’s record.

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