Vergennes Police Log: Police look into attempted child abduction

VERGENNES — Vergennes Police are still trying to find out who was involved in an attempted child abduction in the Little City on May 1.

At around 4:15 on that Saturday, two unidentified men in a vehicle attempted to abduct a 13-year-old girl as she was walking home near the intersection of West Main and Canal streets, Vergennes police report.

The girl told police the passenger in the vehicle was a white man in his 30s, who had a beard and sunglasses. The vehicle was a red SUV with a Vermont license plate and several Vermont stickers on the rear bumper, police said. The SUV was last seen traveling south on West Main Street.

Police Chief George Merkel on Tuesday said his department is still gathering leads and could use help from the public.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Vergennes Police Department immediately at either 802-877-2201 or 802-877-1152.

In other activity between April 26 and May 9, Vergennes police conducted 21 directed patrols and three foot patrols. Officers also:

•  On April 26 responded to a report that someone had hit and damaged some parking signs at Vergennes Union Elementary School while dropping off children. The driver said their insurance would pay for the damage.

•  On April 26 checked the welfare of a person on Meadow Lane who hadn’t been seen for a few days. Police forced their way into the house and found Steven S. Strong, 61, deceased. Police don’t suspect foul play.

•  On April 27 controlled traffic at the intersection of Green and Main streets, where a construction firm was putting a roof on a building.

•  On April 27 assisted officials in Ticonderoga, N.Y., who were planning for a new police station.

•  On April 27 responded to a citizen dispute on Hillside Acres, where a resident alleged a neighbor was cooking drugs. The officer found no drugs.

•  On April 28 controlled traffic at the same worksite at Green and Main streets.

•  On April 29 went to a New Haven Road business where a woman was in emotional distress. The officer contacted a friend of the woman, and the friend gave her a ride home.

•  On April 29 took part in a meeting of Project Vision North, an organization that shares information among social service and law enforcement agencies in the area. Chief Merkel said the organization is working well. The April 29 meeting resulted in creation of a plan to work with a person in need of services, he said.

•  On April 29 took part in a restorative justice services board meeting.

•  On April 29 checked the welfare of a person on Cataract Place and found they were fine.

•  On April 30 responded to a call from the Vergennes Animal Hospital, where an individual brought a dog in for medical care and threatened hospital staff if his dog were to expire. He was told not to return.

•  On April 30 assisted the Department of Public Works in finding the owner of a car parked on South Water Street and having it removed so they could gain access to a manhole cover.

•  On April 30 returned to Cataract Place on a report of a suicidal individual; police contacted the woman and she said she had no problem.

•  On May 1 checked the welfare of a woman on Main Street with whom a person had become friends on Snapchat. The friend said the woman had threatened self-harm after a breakup and police got her father to come pick her up.

•  On May 1 at 9:15 p.m. quieted a noisy gathering on Green Street.

•  On May 2 looked into a report of a family fight in the Shaw’s supermarket parking lot. The officer discovered it was a verbal argument.

•  On May 2 at 8:30 p.m. looked for a car parked at the St. Peter’s cemetery but couldn’t find it.

•  On May 2 investigated a argument between a couple in a vehicle parked on Armory Lane. Police talked to the couple and found their vehicle was uninsured. Police ordered that the vehicle stay its parking spot.

•  On May 2 at 11:57 p.m. responded with the Vergennes Area Rescue Squad to a reported overdose on Armory Lane; VARS took the person to the hospital.

•  On May 3 responded to a report that two Ferrisburgh children were not attending school. After investigating, police cited the mother for contributing to the truancy of two juveniles and referred the case to the Department for Children and Families. Because naming the mother would identify the children, we are not giving her name.

•  On May 4 spoke with the vice principal at Vergennes Union High School about a student who was found with a vape pen containing marijuana. Police contacted the student’s father and issued juvenile court diversion paperwork.

•  On May 4 returned a found wallet to its owner.

•  On May 5 met with two grandparents concerned about a disruptive granddaughter. By the time police arrived they had calmed her down, the officer spoke with her and she went to school without issue.

•  On May 5 responded to Valley Vista on Alden Place were a client felt unsafe. The resident was discharged and police gave them information on how to file a complaint.

•  On May 5 assisted Vermont State Police responding to a reported car breakdown on Route 7, but could not find the car.

•  On May 5 attended a class on core values of leadership instruction at the Vermont Police Academy.

•  On May 5 went to Cataract Place where there was an issue between a parent and offspring.

•  On May 6 checked out a report of a fight between a couple on North Green Street; one of the people asked the officer to remove the other because they were violent, and the second individual left.

•  On May 6 conducted a safe driver class on Zoom.

•  On May 7 assisted Addison County Superior Court with some case expungements.

•  On May 7 looked into a fraud complaint, with the caller said someone had filed for unemployment compensation in their name. Police gave the person information on how to report the fraudulent claim to the state.

•  On May 7 went to Hillside Acres on a report that a 6-year-old had drawn with stone on a car. Police said the case was a civil matter and gave advice on how to get reimbursed for the damage.

•  On May 8 conducted another safe driver course on Zoom.

•  On May 8 responded to a South Water street alarm and found nothing of note.

•  On May 8 passed on to some city parents notice of the death of their child, who was legally an adult and residing elsewhere.

•  On May 9 responded for Vermont State Police to a one-car crash with no injuries on Basin Harbor Road in Ferrisburgh.

•  On May 9 got a call from a man who said his girlfriend was locked inside a New Haven Road Laundromat after the doors had automatically locked at 9 p.m. Police contacted the business owner, who assisted in getting the woman out.

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