PROVO — Provo police are investigating a bizarre incident this week: a van parked in a residential neighborhood with a sign on it, reading: “free candy inside.”
It turns out, police believe the sign was harmless. But for neighbors who live in Provo’s Grandview neighborhood, it raised serious concerns with them that a child predator could be targeting kids on the street.
The white van was parked on a neighborhood street in front of a home. No one on the street knew who the van belonged to, and the neighbors were worried about the sign posted in the back window.
Adults looked inside and did not see any candy, but they did see a mattress and some clothes in the back of the van. Police were called to investigate.
Officers tracked down the van’s owner, who is a college age student. He told officers he put up the sign a few days ago as part of a prank with his friends.
Police credit the neighbors for watching out for their neighborhood. “With this sign possibly enticing children to a van, your worst case scenarios come to mind. So, it was good, a good example of someone in a neighborhood watching out, not only for his own family, but the whole neighborhood,” said Capt. Cliff Argyle, spokesman for the Provo Police Department.
Officers say the man was very cooperative with investigators and was actually embarrassed by what happened, so much so he drove to the police station to show officers the sign was down.
The man is apparently staying with some relatives within walking distance of the neighborhood where the van was parked and at times lives in the van.
Police say, if nothing else, this situation is a good reminder for parents to talk to their children about stranger danger.
Then I Read This:
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A state lawmaker says he plans to sponsor a bill next session that would bar adult males from applying spray-on tans to female juveniles at tanning salons.
State Rep. Bruce Borders, R-Jasonville, said he was shocked by a recent case where an adult man who works at a tanning salon applied a spray-on tan on a nude 15-year-old girl.
Borders said he can’t believe there’s not a law prohibiting that type of activity.
“I think it’s important not only for the customers but for the business that no one be put in any kind of compromising position,” he said.
Borders said he, along with State Rep. Sandy Blanton, D-Orleans, will seek to introduce legislation next session putting restrictions on spray-on tanning. He said he isn’t sure what form the proposed law will take.
A Greene County woman, Brandy Holtsclaw, said she was furious when she learned her 15-year-old daughter got a spray-on tan while nude from a grown man at a Linton tanning salon.
Her daughter had forged a note from her mother. The tanning salon’s owner said that when he entered the booth to apply the tan last month, the girl had taken off all her clothes. He proceeded to apply the tan and then left her to dry.
Holtsclaw said she looked into the matter and learned that her teenage daughter did not need parental permission, nor is there any statute to prevent a juvenile from being nude inside a spray-tan booth with a male technician.
“Maybe it’s not illegal, but it should be,” Holtsclaw said.
A California woman who owns an airbrush tanning training center who heard about the Linton incident has contacted Borders, offering to write a letter in support of his legislation.
“There has been some outrage in the tanning community about this, and many people believe that the man should have taken some things into consideration before agreeing to what he did,” said Kelly Richardson of Santa Rosa, Calif.
Richardson said she would never allow a male to apply a tan to a juvenile girl. Her business also prohibits women from applying a spray-on tan to a naked man.
She said her spray-tan clients often wear a bathing suit or their underwear, but that some do want a full body tan and wear nothing.
Maybe next time this sign would do better for Creepy Van Dude:
Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on May 12, 2009