Following reports last week on two possible instances of adults suspiciously approaching North County children, the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department made two more announcements this week about similar activity. One clarified the circumstances of one of last week’s occurrences, while the other seems to note a third instance of possibly inappropriate behavior toward children.

First, Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Drew Sugars explained that an incident in Orcutt last week – in which a man asked a child to help him close the rear driver’s side door of his vehicle – did not constitute a crime. After area media posted notices about the exchange, the man involved in the interaction read them and contacted the sheriff. The man explained that he was driving his car when he noticed that his door was ajar and simply asked a neighborhood child if he would slam it shut. The child ran off and the man thought nothing of the incident. Sugars said that an investigator concluded that the man had done no wrong.

In the second report, Sugars said that the Sheriff’s Department is looking into two men who suspiciously approached two young girls in Santa Ynez at around 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11, near the intersection of Faraday and Pine streets. The men had pulled up on the side of the road opposite from where the girls were playing and made a comment “about possibly grabbing the girls,” as Sugars put it. The girls ran away and contacted law enforcement.

Sheriff’s deputies are now looking for these two men, who were described as being Hispanic, between 20 and 30 years old, and riding in a green four-door Toyota Sedan at the time.

Sugars concluded his statement on the incident by saying that investigators did not know whether this Santa Ynez incident had any connection with another report about a suspicious interaction between a child and a stranger in Buellton on March 6.


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