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Northeast neighbors alarmed that blue van approached children
By: Genevieve Curtis
EL PASO, Texas -- Neighbors in northeast El Paso are on high alert after they believe someone tried to take their children when they were playing outside.
Several neighbors that live off Sean Haggerty Drive and Aaron Street said they've seen a suspicious blue van on their street making contact with children for the past three weeks.
Aaron Street is a quiet cal-de-sac street, with only one way in, and the same way out, so anything out of Place is quite noticeable.
One parent even snapped a photo of the van, which quickly made its way around social media.
Neighbors said two people inside the van made several attempts to approach their children.
Good parents teach their children, what to do if strangers approach them but they always hope the lessons never have to be put to action.
"Don't talk to strangers. Don't tell them your name and scream, 'mom' if they're going to get out of the car," said one of the little girls who came face to face with one the female passenger of the van.
"My mom teaches me, if someone comes near you, and tries to steal you, you scratch hard, you hit you kick and all that stuff," said another little girl.
"It's scary,"" said Daniela, one of the little girls' mothers.
She said, last Tuesday the two girls ages eight and nine were playing outside say the van approached them and was asking "where's your mommy" and saying other things to them in Spanish.
"They came a second time. Keep asking the same questions and almost came out of the car and stole us," said one of the girls.
The girls said a man was driving the van and then woman kept asking, "Where is your mommy? Is your mommy home?"
That's when the girls said the female passenger of the van started to get out
"We were scared. We were really scared it was strangers," said one of the girls.
Daniela said she heard the commotion and as she came outside, the car sped off.
Parents said they're having their children play in the back yard and supervising them when they are out in the front yard or riding bikes in the street.
"I was very worried. This is the first time it's happened here. So we were very, very worried and concerned. So now we are trying to unite as a community and parents be on the lookout for every child that's out here," said one parent named Brisa.
Another mother described a frightening incident that happened the same day, when a woman actually got out of the blue van and approached the mother and her children in their driveway.
"As I looked up, I saw an older Hispanic lady on the front passenger seat. She made eye contact with me and smiled. The look on her face gave me chills. Her face appeared determined and was filled with malice. She opened her door and started approaching my van. I was under the impression that she was coming to get my children and would take any one of them with her if she could. I quickly pushed my children back into our van with my left hand and held out my right hand in an attempt to keep the lady away from us," the mom told KFOX.
The mom then called police and was forwarded to dispatch, she was advised a unit would be sent out as soon as it became available but she said the police never showed.
Neighbors describe the two people in the van as a man and a woman in their mid-50s speaking Spanish.
Up and down the street, neighbors are more vigilant, driving around and taking their dogs for more walks.
"I want to make sure, walk around with my German Shepard and when I walk with him. I make sure that no one grabs a kid," said one neighbor who did not want to give her name.
Brisa got busy posting the information to social media.
"I wanted to put it out there so more people could be aware with their children playing outside. As a concerned mother, it worries me," she said.
Several neighbors we spoke to were making plans to supervise the kids outside more and stay in contact with other parents and neighbors on the block.
Daniela says after what happened to her daughter, she now sits out side and waits for the blue van to return.
"I'm going to jump in front of the van and ask them why they keep driving here and why they are asking children if their parents are home," said Daniela.
Earlier this year, KFOX14 reported that a blue van was the subject of an attempted kidnapping in east El Paso. Police said they believe the make and model of the van is different in this case.
Police said they have not located the van described in the previous incident, and they will look into the claims made in the northeast El Paso incident.