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Brighton Area 'Black or Dark Blue Dodge Caravan' Child Abduction Rumour

Outline
Message circulating rapidly via social media warns parents in Ontario's Brighton area about an abduction attempt in which a 10 year old child was used to lure a school child towards a black or dark blue Dodge Caravan.



Brief Analysis
Ontario Provincial Police investigated a suspicious incident at a school in the Brighton area which involved a possible abduction attempt by a person driving a dark coloured van. However, after thorough investigation, the incident was determined to be unsubstantiated. The continued circulation of the rumour is therefore counterproductive.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

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Last updated: 15th October 2011
First published: 15th October 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Attention parents in Brighton and surrounding area...there was an attempted abduction at Brighton Public School today. The perpetrators used a little girl, about 10 years old to lure a jk student by the hand to the back fence where a Black or Dark Blue Dodge Caravan was waiting. The mom ( a friend of mine) was watching, and ran to catch up with her child. The 10 year old then ran to the van, got in and it sped away. The police have said there was a similar attempt in Madoc a few weeks ago. This is very serious! The police have warned all the schools from Kingston to Port Hope, and North. There should be a letter coming home from school in the next few days. I just want everyone to be extra vigilant!



Detailed Analysis
According to this abduction alert, which is circulating rapidly via Facebook and other social media websites, parents in the Brighton region of Ontario Canada should be especially vigilant due to an attempted child abduction in the area. The message describes an attempted abduction in which a ten year old child tried to lure a school student towards a black or dark blue Dodge Caravan. The message also claims that police have warned all schools in the region about the "serious" incident and that letters warning about the incident should be sent home to parents "in the next few days".

The warning is apparently derived from an incident reported to Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) on October 13, 2011. However, an OPP spokesperson has asked that people refrain from reposting the warning, noting on the OPP's Facebook page:
I verified this information though OPP Central Region. It seems that we are dealing with an actual report from the Brighton area that is turning into somewhat of an "urban myth". The OPP did investigate a report at a local school however it turned out to be unsubstantiated. There is no cause for concern in regards to this incident. Please help us stop this rumour from spreading where you can. Thanks for your concern and for your assistance.
The OPP has also published the following news release about the incident:
OPP INVESTIGATE SUSPICIOUS INCIDENT

(BRIGHTON, ON) – On Thursday October 13, 2011, police officers from the Northumberland Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to a report of a suspicious incident at an elementary school located in the Municipality of Brighton.

The incident, which involved what was reported as a possible attempted abduction involving a dark coloured van and a young female person has been thoroughly investigated by the Northumberland OPP Crime Unit and has been determined to be unsubstantiated.

The OPP reminds all members of the public to be aware of their personal safety, and that of children, at all times. Children should not be left unattended anywhere, for any length of time, when out in public. The OPP’s website, www.opp.ca, contains a number of useful resources, tips and links.
It is very important that users check the veracity of such abduction alerts before reposting them. Sending on false, unsubstantiated or outdated reports about possible abductions can raise unnecessary fear and alarm in communities and waste the time and resources of police. Such rumours can also make it less likely that genuine alerts are taken seriously.

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References
OOP Facebook
Suspicious incident investigated at BPS
Amber Alert Hoax - Fake '72B 381' Abduction Alert Continues To Circulate


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Last updated: 15th October 2011
First published: 15th October 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer