Man Asks Girls of Girl Scout Age, in Girl Scout Cookie Selling Season, If They Are Selling Girl Scout Cookies. Police Are Alerted.


Readers, I get about five stories a day that just flabbergast me. Here’s eaednfndyt
. I’m not the only one slackjawed at the insanity of the concern afforded this “incident,” am I? I mean, just look at the headline!

Potentially Suspicious Man Asks Girls about Buying Girl Scout Cookies

Is “potentially suspicious” even English? Aren’t we all potentially suspicious? And here’s the story, from Wisconsin:

Caledonia Police Department notified residents that a man suspiciously was asking two girls if they were selling Girl Scout cookies on Tuesday.

“As the intentions of the male are not known, and may in fact be nothing more than what it seems on face value, his actions were suspicious enough for him to contact his police department. Since we were not able to speak with the driver, we do not know if his intentions were as innocent as they appear to be or a ruse for something different,” said the Caledonia Police Department in a release.

The father of the two girls reported the incident occurred on Tuesday around 4:45 PM in the 4400 block of West Johnson Ave.

Two girls, ages 7-years-old and 11-years-old, were standing at the end of a driveway.

A red Ford Ranger, extended cab with stickers in the back window stopped in the street and the driver, a dark haired white man asked the girls if they were selling Girl Scout Cookies. The girls said they were not and the subject left the scene. This incident was witnesses [sic] by the father of the two girls who reported the incident to us.

Here’s a rule of thumb: When something is called an “incident,” assume nothing happened at all. An incident is only an incident if it was NOT a crime, a melee, a disaster or an attack. In fact, I’d venture to say an incident is almost always a non-incident.

AND YET the police go on to say:

“We are letting the public know what happened so this can be a teaching incident for the families of our community.”

Um, teaching what?

Please remind your children how to handle contact with strangers when they are approached,” said Caledonia Police Department.

If you have had an incident like this police are encouraging  you to contact 886-2300.

So remember: If your children encounter a man and nothing happens,  please call the police. – L
Remember! Call your local police any time a man talks to children.

Your local police are there to serve. Alert them as soon as your child encounters a male. 



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67 Responses to Man Asks Girls of Girl Scout Age, in Girl Scout Cookie Selling Season, If They Are Selling Girl Scout Cookies. Police Are Alerted.

  1. Malcolm M. Lucas April 17, 2016 at 2:54 am #

    As a survivor of Thin Mints addiction, I can sympathize with the plight of this poor man.

  2. James Pollock April 17, 2016 at 4:34 am #

    How can you be so blase about this? a STRANGER talked to TWO GIRLS! Openly and without shame!

    If the men in this town are so brazen as to try to start conversations with women they don’t know, who knows where this could lead?

  3. BL April 17, 2016 at 6:23 am #

    “Caledonia Police Department notified residents that a man suspiciously was asking two girls if they were selling Girl Scout cookies on Tuesday.

    “As the intentions of the male are not known …”

    Nor are the intentions of the girls known.

    Nor are the intentions of the Caledonia Police Department known.

  4. Not Sure April 17, 2016 at 7:36 am #

    If they were selling cookies it would’ve been obvious. No grown man should be pulling over in his vehicle to talk to a 7 and 11 year old girl unless they have a valid reason. Asking a rhetorical question is not a valid reason, it’s creepy. As the father of a 4 year old daughter I am fully in support of reporting and once dent like this to the authorities. The guy is a creeper.

  5. David April 17, 2016 at 8:20 am #

    @Not Sure: what for? You would have had no reason to believe he was committing a crime.

  6. Powers April 17, 2016 at 8:40 am #

    If I may take a middle view, while it’s certainly not issue-a-cautionary-statement-worthy, it certainly is a little weird for a guy to pull up to two girls, presumably not in girl scout uniforms, and ask about cookies.

  7. E. Alex April 17, 2016 at 9:34 am #

    Maybe a new ordinance should be passed prohibiting men from purchasing Girl Scout cookies. This will solve the concerns from parents of Girl Scout girls. The new ordinance should be well publicised. Then men caught inquiring about girl scout cookies can be branded as sexual predators.

  8. KO April 17, 2016 at 9:54 am #

    Funny — the news will find a way to make a headline out of anything!!

  9. Mack April 17, 2016 at 10:27 am #

    You Crack me up! Sad we love in a world where craving girl scout cookies could get you arrested.

  10. SKL April 17, 2016 at 10:41 am #

    Well, at least he comments I saw were rational.

  11. SKL April 17, 2016 at 10:43 am #

    Why wasn’t the dad arrested for letting his kids hang around at the end of his driveway? Too close to the road, too far from the dad, and what if he backed over them? It’s obvious they could have been kidnapped. I hope they at least opened a CPS case on these poor neglected girls.

  12. Paul Bearer April 17, 2016 at 10:44 am #

    The news needs stories to post, the police need to fill their quotas and parents need to feel like they’re protecting their kids. Paranoia, it seems, satisfies a lot of needs.

    Folks are practically begging for people in these crime-free, predominantly white suburban neighborhoods to do something crazy, if only to add some excitement to their boring lives.

    And again: this guy should pursue legal action if any information on his identity is released. Using gender as grounds for suspicion is never okay.

  13. Priscilla April 17, 2016 at 10:49 am #

    Wow. You really took the time to write just to discredit or diminish a parents concern for his child’s safety.

    What experience do you have with child abduction? I’m pretty sure the answer is none!

    I tell parents and children to listen to their instincts because it could safe a life.

    Do some research.

  14. m April 17, 2016 at 10:59 am #

    Good thing he wasn’t in a white van, there would be a nationwide man hunt for him.


    The man asked a question, got an answer, and left. He didn’t DO anything, asking questions doesn’t automatically make him a “creeper”. Calling the police was an overreaction on the parent’s part.

    The man did nothing illegal or immoral.

    The US is safer now than 30-40 years ago.

    The paranoia is astounding.

  15. Diane April 17, 2016 at 11:29 am #

    I worry about all those slightly neuroatypical people out there who may ask or say something random and awkward to a kid. How awful for someone who does anything slightly unusual or unexpected to be branded as a creep, or worse, a predator. Instead of becoming more enlightened and tolerant, I think many are becoming more rigid and closed off.

  16. Warren April 17, 2016 at 11:36 am #

    @ not sure

    As a father that has 20 more years experience raising 2 daughters. …’re an idiot.

  17. Paul Bearer April 17, 2016 at 11:45 am #

    @ Priscilla: The top bar of this site is filled with the research Lenore has done to substantiate her stance on these issues. The data is unequivocally on her side.

    Parents’ “instincts” are warped by stories like these. The more the media and the police tell you that all strangers have the worst intentions (a stance that greatly benefits their own interests), the more parents fear anyone and everyone outside of their immediate family.

  18. Derek W. Logue of April 17, 2016 at 11:55 am #

    I find whoever called the police “potentially suspicious.”

  19. SanityAnyone? April 17, 2016 at 12:16 pm #

    Let the second Tuesday in April be forever observed as National Potentially Suspicious Conversations with Girl Scouts day, and let PSCGS day be marked with teachable incidents to bolster our children’s anxiety and distrust of others.

  20. SKL April 17, 2016 at 12:17 pm #

    Why isn’t the journalist who posted this being skewered like the 9yo girl who reported a murder in her town? They just provided identifying information about a guy who is now going to be accused by [some of] the public of being a child rapist, based on no evidence whatsoever. What’s with the double standard?

  21. SKL April 17, 2016 at 12:25 pm #

    Yesterday I was having fun thinking about all the things I could “report” based on the fact that I sit looking out my 2nd-story window most of the time. (I work from home on my laptop in my bedrom.) I see many slow-moving vehicles who turn slowly around at the end of our cul-de-sac, peering out the windows, sometimes with their lights off (at night). (Especially on garbage night.) I see neighbors being loud and rowdy or yelling at their kids. I see youths walking around aimlessly. Stray animals. Loose pets. Speeding cars. Maintenance workers in unmarked vehicles without uniforms. Young girls walking unaccompanied up the street. (Oh wait, those are mine.) I hear screaming babies and yowling cats. Occasionally I hear what sounds like a gun going off.

    This is a very low crime neighborhood, by the way.

    The only wrongdoer I’ve been tempted to report was the lady behind me who feeds the deer. And only because of the time she wouldn’t let us cut through her part of the ravine on the way to the park. :/

  22. Warren April 17, 2016 at 12:32 pm #


    What research have you done? And watching criminal minds and law and order doesn’t count.

  23. Reziac April 17, 2016 at 12:36 pm #

    Perhaps the person reporting the incident was thinking of an old joke: “These cookies don’t taste anything like Girl Scouts!”

    I’ve also been known to ask a gaggle of middle-school girls when the Thin Mints were coming back. Arrest me now, before I eat another whole box!

  24. david zaitzeff April 17, 2016 at 12:44 pm #

    I could be in real trouble, as I am a single male and I also believe in, when possible, donating to occasional causes with $4 or so (the cost of a girl scout cookie box in our area). We had girl scouts selling cookies on many weekend days for about a month recently in a certain Washington state suburb. (The local police chief knows me slightly from an occasional congratulatory or supportive email from me to him, but his officers don’t know me by face. I don’t cause enough trouble to bring me to the attention of the patrol officers.) If I can find an extra $4 to give/buy/donate, I try to take a box . . . from the “girls” and young ladies in front of the grocery store . . .

    I am a guy and the truth is that the gals and girls who sell or give away items on the corner or at the front of the grocery store probably merit attention from me more frequently . . . (PETA themselves notice that their women for the cause of PETA nude or near-nude generates way more news coverage and attention . . .) It is what it is.

    I have a difficulty, I suppose, because I carry a camera or bloggie most places and I enjoy taking photos of girls and gals that are pretty. I have not yet asked any of the girl scouts if they wish to pose, mostly because I have a mental debate about the age at which a “girl” might feel comfortable “posing” for a near-candid photograph.

    Would I regard a 3rd grader as too young to ask? Probably, but chiefly because I wouldn’t want her to feel uncomfortable while she is having fun selling cookies. At 7th or 8th grade, I assume she would tend to say no and that mom might be concerned . . . at 9-12th I think it should be normal but people in society get easily concerned . . .

    I had the funniest experience at the local comicon convention last week. There was “Sakuracon” which was several weeks ago and after “Sakuracon,” I realized that when I am discussing “Mount Si hot or not” with people, that going to Sakuracon is a reasonable alternative for girls of HS age who wish to have fun, pose, be hot, be appreciated, etc. It is a more or less anonymous atmosphere with hundreds of posing and photographic opportunities and gals and girls wear costumes of their style and choice.

    So, I realized how easily that could fit for some people and I wrote some posts about it on one of my blogs. Then I went to Comicon a few weeks later. Among the dozens of people I asked to pose was a “younger young lady.” She posed, though she may have lacked a bit a maturity to pose “well.” I was walking away from the 1 or 2 minute shoot and there was a woman sitting on a bench with a nice smile. We visually “met” each other and I said hi and we chatted. She was the mom of the girl (about-5-years-under-18 actual girl) I had just photographed 10 to 15 feet away!

    And in this case, because I had not asked any intrusive questions or done anything intrusive or concerning, and because the mom is probably at peace generally, she was happy and our conversation was enjoyable.

    The other question is about taking photos while I am walking at our favorite local park which is Greenlake. All year and especially in the summer there are girls and boys as well as college-aged and adults. I take photos of various people being pretty, cute, fun or at times revealing and/or visual flirts!

    About two years ago, I think that some of the “suspicious person” calls made to 911/SPD were in reference to me . . . but I don’t have absolute proof. (I do know that one negative and discouraging fellow walked with me one day, while claiming he had called the police on me . . .) SPD has not bothered me about taking photos of people at the lakes in any obvious way . . . I probably took as many or more photos in 2015, but either the lake visitors did not call as much or 911 operators did not feel it wise to send out patrol units for the purpose of circling Greenlake on bicycle or sitting and watching at one of the beaches.

    Anyway, what I learned at Sakuracon and Comicon is that one part of a conversation you can have with some people is to say, “Do you wish to pose?” At a comic convention or Sakura con, everyone wishes to pose.

    Do girls who are at the grocery store wish to pose? I don’t know. Next year, if and when I encounter a cute 7th grader or above . . . If the girl or her mom is smiling, I will ponder asking.

    This little area is so small that a lot of the time, local police patrol is within a few blocks of our main QFC. I don’t think anyone will behave too badly. Probably half the time the girl will say no and I will buy my groceries and all be well!

  25. sexhysteria April 17, 2016 at 12:53 pm #

    Sounds like the person who wrote this story was drunk.

  26. Shawn D. April 17, 2016 at 1:23 pm #

    “Asking a rhetorical question is not a valid reason, it’s creepy.” — Not Sure

    That’s not a rhetorical question — that’s a direct question about sales. A rhetorical question would be “What if someone asked you if you were selling cookies?”

  27. NY Mom April 17, 2016 at 1:24 pm #

    Teach your children well. Teach them distrust. Teach them hate and fear. Invoke anxiety in them. Set them up for failure as wimpy and controlled by their loving daddy’s worst-first thinking. Teach your children well.

  28. Beth April 17, 2016 at 1:58 pm #

    For all those mentioning that the girls weren’t wearing GS uniforms, note that this happened in Wisconsin, where the advent of spring means “more winter”. The girls were probably wearing winter coats, thus who could tell if they were wearing uniforms?

  29. Dean Whinery April 17, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

    I was once told I was “not qualified” to buy Girl Scout cookies.
    As former leader of a large Cadette GS troop–about 10 years–I wasn’t aware that there was any “qualification” beyond having the price of a box of Savannahs in my hand. A few days later the Executive Director of my old GS council called and asked if I wanted to pick up cookies, or should they deliver…guess my qualifications checked out at a higher level.

  30. lollipoplover April 17, 2016 at 2:23 pm #

    “No grown man should be pulling over in his vehicle to talk to a 7 and 11 year old girl unless they have a valid reason.”

    Yesterday, two 9 year-old girls were approached by multiple men and some even asked the directions! They had a snack stand set up at the end of our street and did quite well, over $60 in sales. Several MEN even told them to keep the change. Oh, the humanity!!!

    Do people who make such ignorant statements have sons? Do you want your son to be treated like a criminal any time he talks to someone with no *valid* reason? What a paranoid and horrible way to raise children. Instilling anxiety and fear in young children with no factual basis is a seriously sick!

  31. MichelleB April 17, 2016 at 2:49 pm #

    The incident sounds weird. Why would the man assume that girls of a particular age range were Girl Scouts — unless the girls were carrying boxes that the man mistook for cookies? Around here, it’s pretty much impossible to avoid high pressure cookie sales at the entrance of every grocery store. An incident like that would make me wonder a bit, but not call the police.

    @david zaitzeff — I asked my daughter who is a cosplayer what her feelings were about posing for pictures. If she’s in costume at a con, or in costume on her way to an event, she’s happy to have her picture taken by strangers — because it’s a picture of the costume. If she was in street clothes at a grocery store and you asked to take her picture, she would think you were a creeper.

  32. HotInLa April 17, 2016 at 3:40 pm #

    Dean Whinery, who told you you weren’t qualified to buy GS cookies? How in the world did that even happen? That’s insane.

    I can’t believe this is even classified as an ‘incident’. It’s ridiculous. Makes me love my town more & more every time I hear one of these ignorant stories.

  33. Resident Iconoclast April 17, 2016 at 4:11 pm #

    Thank God I still have my male privilege, in this misandrist society.

    I guess it’s OK now to have completely colorblind sexism. It used to be racists who rounded up black men anytime something strange happened. Now, in today’s society, they just round up ANY man.

    I guess that’s progress. I’ll go back to reading how men run everything in the United States, the usual fare in the media. Just stay away from children, all you rapists and murderers.

  34. pentamom April 17, 2016 at 4:37 pm #

    Even granting that a guy pulling up to talk to girls and ask a question it doesn’t seem like has good reason to ask is suspicious…

    even granting that…

    doesn’t the suspicion evaporate the moment he drives away *without having done anything in the least threatening?*

    He didn’t try to lure them. He didn’t ask any inappropriate questions about where they lived or anything of that nature.

    He drove up and asked a question that maybe somebody possibly someone would ask in order to start a conversation for nefarious reasons.

    But having received the answer, he responded as a non-nefarious person would, and left.

  35. James Pollock April 17, 2016 at 4:57 pm #

    “doesn’t the suspicion evaporate the moment he drives away ‘without having done anything in the least threatening?’*

    The reason that you even ask this question is because you haven’t already supplied all the “missing” details yourself. OBVIOUSLY this male person was a sex-crazed lunatic intent on kidnapping Girl Scouts. Once he discovers that these girls are not Scouts, his interest in them waned and he sped off.

    Go back a couple articles to the one about the lady in the mall. Find the link to the police department’s comment on the “incident”, and start reading the comments. By four or five pages in, you’ll discover that the guy was secretly on the phone to his boss, the head of the human trafficking ring, who was picking and choosing which girls/women he wanted kidnapped, and the scout at the mall had a big bag with drugs and disguises, and was just seconds away from snatching 37 kids when this alert mother pulled the plug on the whole plan.

    You see, you’re making the CRUCIAL mistake of focusing on what this particular man DID, instead of putting your attention where it should be… on what he is ACCUSED OF. Try it the other way, and you’ll see that this all makes perfect sense. Since all people accused of nefarious things are, of course, completely and totally guilty, all inquiry into fact can stop once the accusation is made. There’s just no need for any more facts, at that point.

  36. Liz April 17, 2016 at 5:46 pm #

    If the guy was insidious wouldn’t he have asked them to his car to give or sell them something, instead of asking if he could buy something from them? I’m guessing if they’d said yes he would have pulled over and gotten out of his car. Maybe he would have handed them money in exchange for cookies. Then he’d get back in his car and drive away, never to be seen again. Would the authorities have been called then? How was this interaction suspicious, because he asked for Girl Scout Cookies instead of lemonade or whatever else?!

  37. Michelle April 17, 2016 at 6:41 pm #

    “The incident sounds weird. Why would the man assume that girls of a particular age range were Girl Scouts — unless the girls were carrying boxes that the man mistook for cookies? Around here, it’s pretty much impossible to avoid high pressure cookie sales at the entrance of every grocery store. An incident like that would make me wonder a bit, but not call the police.”

    Where I live, Girl Scout cookie time is over. Maybe he missed it, and thought he’d ask around to try to figure out if he could still get cookies. And maybe he did that in a slightly awkward way, but that doesn’t make him a creeper. It makes him a slightly awkward person who wants cookies.

  38. GrannyDeb April 17, 2016 at 7:31 pm #

    Where I live, too, the GSC is over, and I am acutely aware of the fact that I missed it. I wonder if I, an eldering grannydeb, went around asking all the girl children I could see if it was too late, as I almost did and as was just suggested, … again, I wonder if I … would have been treated as a creepOH. Good God, Lenore. How can you stand the ignorance of those many who are Not Sure. Those who cannot learn are the ignorant ones who have allowed their ignorance to turn to fear which turns to rage which ends as hate (or ignorance). Stupidity is a good reason not to be able to learn, but Ignorance is not an excuse.

  39. lollipoplover April 17, 2016 at 8:57 pm #

    OK, so after posting how paranoid it was to call the police, I called them today on a man!!
    I was at my son’s soccer game, a very physical game that the refs were not making calls. One parent, the “man”, started yelling at one of our players (not my kid) and demanding he be ejected from the game. The ref ignored him yet the man started yelling louder with profanities and was asked to stop yelling at kids and to watch his language (there were many young siblings watching as well), he turned his anger on the parents. I haven’t called the police in probably a decade but this guy was NUTS and I didn’t want him to hurt any of these kids (or parents defending them).
    The officer showed up and addressed the dad and asked him to wait in his car until the game ended.
    Honestly, I’ve seen many bad parents on the sideline but never felt threatened for one of our boys like I did today and calling the police to keep the peace made me feel better than if a bad situation escalated.
    Whether asking for cookies in the off season is bad remains to be seen.
    People are cuckoo for cocoa puffs with youth sports!

  40. Donald April 17, 2016 at 9:14 pm #

    Children grow up to be of adult age. Everybody knows that. However many people believe that once they achieve adult age, they automatically are granted adult maturity by default. Actually, I lie. They don’t believe that at all. They just don’t think about anything but possible dangers. They are so focused on protection that by default this is what happens. It’s as if they believe maturity automatically comes with age. IT DOES NOT!

    The girls were not in a girl scout uniform. The guy may have been strange. He may even have been a little creepy. So what? He pulled over. He asked a question. He drove off.

    Nothing happened. Well actually it did. We taught these children that they are helpless. They are in danger of any guy that asks a strange question. They are unable to fend off anything. This doesn’t sound like much but a continual reassurance of ‘taught helplessness’ results in ‘learned helplessness’.

    For a better explanation see this page.

    Scroll down to the bottom of the page. This minor incident and the reaction of, “you were in danger“, is the same thing as a ‘handful of sand’ in the animation.

    @Not Sure and Priscilla
    You are a perfect example of how learned helplessness is taught
    Teaching them how to be insecure is a great way to set them up for hardships. Bullies are attracted to insecurity like ants are attracted to spilled sugar

  41. Trey April 17, 2016 at 9:48 pm #

    Re: Caledonia police, the “news” story, Priscilla and Not sure
    The stupid! It burns!

  42. david zaitzeff April 18, 2016 at 12:09 am #

    @MichelleB Thanks for thinking of me, and I realize that there is a difference in response and perception when we compare wearing a costume v being at the grocery store. The “problem,” if we call it that, is that there is some degree of overlap. At the local QFC, there have been cheerleaders in cheerleading outfits and/or girls of the local drill team in drill team dancewear.

    The cheerleaders or drill team members were not selling gs cookies, but were collecting donations for things such as a car wash or tickets to things to help pay for trips or outfits.

    I have not asked a girl selling gs cookies if she wished to pose, but I simply consider it, at this point. I have chatted with a half of a dozen of the girls in the most recent month and the girls selling the cookies apparently range in age from mid-elementary to all the way to the 12th grade. I am sure we all live and learn . . . and I live in a community in which a large part of the police work is checking on cars for taillights and traffic violations. I am a few miles away from Seattle where the local news regularly carries stories of murder, drugs, shootings and death and we here 2 miles away have the height of excitement and it is covered in the local shrimp newspaper when the police nail a mail thief or mail thief ring. We don’t have drugs and shootings; we have people who want to steal our mail and downtown is about 5 blocks long. It includes QFC, 2 Starbucks, 2 martial arts studios, several yoga places, a few gas stations and a post office. At 9:30 or 10 at night, the local patrol on duty often takes a break at times and has food or drinks at Starbucks and greets other customers.

    Either I have a peaceful and nonaggressive look, or the police are quite nice . . . they’ve talked to me on two occasions about some traffic or car thing. In the 2nd case, they let me go with a warning even though the conduct was worse than your usual broken taillight.

    At least so far, no one has been sufficiently concerned that anyone has felt I was a creeper “here” . . . and I tend to make small and gradual adjustments and observe reactions, if any.

  43. ezm April 18, 2016 at 2:13 am #

    In this day and age, people are becoming so paranoid about anybody approaching anyone when there is not harm done. Yes, I do believe that any unknown man in a auto would stop to ask this kind of question; especially to 2 young girls is not generally the thing to do. I still wouldn’t single him out as being a pedophile. Maybe he just didn’t think. If a patrol person was nearby, I would feel that the man would be approached and asked questions. If I were a parent watching my girls experience this confrontation, I would also be on alert and tell the driver to move out. Is it no wonder why people are not trusting others even if they want to help and say hi? We are becoming an untrusting society more and more each day. I am sorry to say that is happening.

  44. MichaelF April 18, 2016 at 8:02 am #

    At least the comments on the story are mostly in the WTH range.

    Stupid non-story by an over-reactive parent.

  45. Steve April 18, 2016 at 10:51 am #

    “potentially suspicious” is used all the time in the UK to refer to pretty much anything that the police want an excuse to interfere with.

    It has a long history going back to the ‘sus’ laws of (IIRC) the 1980s where youths, of mainly the non-white persuasion, would be routinely stopped and questioned by the police on ‘suspicion of being about to commit a crime’. I guess thats better than being routinely shot on suspicion of being about to commit a crime though…

  46. EricS April 18, 2016 at 10:52 am #

    Wow. Just wow. Paranoia, makes people do the dumbest things.

  47. EricS April 18, 2016 at 11:00 am #

    @ezm: “Yes, I do believe that any unknown man in a auto would stop to ask this kind of question; especially to 2 young girls is not generally the thing to do.”

    So asking a question is “wrong”? Why would you think asking a question that’s relevant to the people the guy is asking the question to, is “not generally the thing to do”?

    Stranger danger is a blown out myth. It’s lead to the mentality that single males that’s unknown to people are potentially dangerous. Most people you’ve ever met, male or female, was at one point a stranger. If you had this mentality then, do you think you’d actually have any friends? Hmmmm.

    Another thing, there are plenty of mothers, women, grandmothers in prison for murder, assault, trafficking, and abductions of children. Yet, single, unknown males who’ve done NOTHING wrong, get the crap end of the stick. Because people with your mentality perpetuates a non-issue. Maybe people should at least be fair and realistic. If they want to fear strange, single men. They, by all accounts, should also fear strange single women. Regardless of their age. Again, plenty of women from 18-65 in prison for crimes against children.

  48. EricS April 18, 2016 at 11:08 am #

    @Not Sure: “If they were selling cookies it would’ve been obvious. No grown man should be pulling over in his vehicle to talk to a 7 and 11 year old girl unless they have a valid reason. Asking a rhetorical question is not a valid reason, it’s creepy. As the father of a 4 year old daughter I am fully in support of reporting and once dent like this to the authorities. The guy is a creeper.”

    I you freaking serious? They don’t mention this in the article, but chances are if it was Girl Scout cookie selling season, then it’s safe to say Girl Scouts and the like has already started. Which could very well mean the girls were wearing their Girl Scouts uniform.

    Now what if this guy, is a father himself. And he supports Girl Scouts, and really just wanted to know so he can buy cookies. After all it’s around the time these girls are out selling them. Yes, yes, you can say “well they didn’t have cookies on them”. Sure. But does that mean you can’t ask them about it? So that maybe when they do, you can come back and buy some? When you’re lost, do you not ask a stranger for directions? When you have a question at a store, do you not ask an employee, wearing a uniform that speaks they work at that store, and who’s also a stranger, a relevant question about an item(s) in the store?

    C’mon, you can’t pick and choose what is scenario is “creepy” and “wrong”, when it’s the same in principal. This is what paranoia does to people. They think illogically, unreasonably, and ignorantly. They rely (knowingly or unknowingly) on their personal fears. Not their children’s fears, but their own. THAT is being an irresponsible parent. It’s not what’s best for US, it’s what’s best for THEM. And what’s best for them isn’t making ourselves feel better about our decisions as parents.

  49. John April 18, 2016 at 12:08 pm #


    It’s pretty obvious that the 11-year-old girl was of “Girl Scout” age. Perhaps this man LOVES girl scout cookies and looks forward to the moment when they’re available for sale. So he saw this girl and thought that MAYBE if she was a Girl Scout, which was a good possibility, she would know something about these cookies and when and where they’d be available for sale. I mean, nothing ventured is nothing gained and the guy probably thought, why not ask?

    @Not Sure:

    The man DID have a valid reason. He loves Girl Scout cookies and wanted some information on when and where he could buy some. So now we’re gonna label any adult male who talks to a kid he doesn’t know for whatever innocent reason, “a creeper”?

  50. Neil M April 18, 2016 at 12:09 pm #

    Lenore, you are dead-on about the use of “incident.” When the news media have something real to report, they use specific terms; when they tell you there was an “incident”, that translates to “something we want to tell you.”

    Also, it’s great that the man is called “potentially suspicious”, a descriptor that can be applied to any human being who has ever trod the earth. Maybe if found he’ll be held on the charge of “suspicion of unknown hanky-panky.”

  51. John April 18, 2016 at 12:15 pm #


    “I tell parents and children to listen to their instincts because it could safe a life.”


    Yes, and then if those “instincts” are wrong, an innocent adult’s life can be ruined just by the mere suspicion.

  52. Donna April 18, 2016 at 1:07 pm #

    Where I live, Girl Scout cookie season ends at the beginning of March. But I only know that because my child is a Girl Scout. I would not expect anyone not affiliated with Girl Scouts to know this. This happened near the end of March, so not too far after the end of the season.

    It is very possible that the girls were in Girl Scout uniforms or something that looked similar to him and that is why he stopped to ask them. Or maybe someone in this neighborhood had been selling Girl Scout cookies and he thought maybe it was these girls. Or maybe he has a very pregnant wife who is rabidly craving Thin Mints and is desperately looking for any potential dealer he can find. Maybe he didn’t want to necessarily buy cookies from them at all, but wanted to know if Girl Scout cookies were still on sale in general and asked some Girl Scout age girls he saw while he was thinking about it.

  53. SKL April 18, 2016 at 3:00 pm #

    We don’t know what the girls were doing either. Maybe something they were doing made the guy think they were selling something. They were at the end of the driveway after all. Did they have some kind of setup that looked like a kiddy vending stand? Were they carrying bags that could have held cookies? Why is everyone so sure that the guy was off his rocker to think they were selling cookies?

  54. hineata April 18, 2016 at 3:06 pm #

    @Lollipoplover – sad you had to involve the police, too many OTT sports parents out there. That chap represented an actual threat to safety….rather than the ‘potential’ this man in a car did. BTW, loved the Samantha Bee video!

    I shudder to think what would happen to my husband in the US….he speaks English with a funny and very strong accent, he has long hair and is very obviously non-white, and he has no problem telling off random children, let alone just approaching them to ask about cookies. Maybe I should buy him tickets the next time he irritates me, and we can take bets on how long it will take him to be shot or jailed, or both ☺.

  55. Jason April 18, 2016 at 5:50 pm #

    The worst thing about this news story is that predators will now now pretty closely where to find two young girls who are known to hang out close to the street. They can also use their knowledge of the girls’ exact ages to give a false impression of acquaintance and familiarity.

  56. pentamom April 18, 2016 at 6:12 pm #

    I don’t know the exact schedule, but I have a friend whose daughter was selling cookies and she was helping coordinate it for her troop.

    Besides the specific orders the girls took, they bought a huge number of boxes and stored them for people who might want extras after the official “selling” period was over. So this went on for a couple of weeks with cookies still available after the whole taking orders and selling at tables stuff wasn’t happening any more.

    So it could well have been only a week or two after cookies weren’t widely available any more that this event happened. Gee, maybe the guy didn’t have the girl scout cookie sales schedule memorized and was hoping to still find some? Naaaah….that’s TOO ridiculous.

  57. LauraL April 18, 2016 at 7:00 pm #

    I think I would feel it odd for someone to ask my girls playing in my driveway if they were selling cookies, if there was zero evidence of cookie sales happening. However, if the reported scenario happened I would think, “that’s weird” and then use the incident as a learning opportunity for my kids. “It’s OK to talk with strangers, right? But it’s never ok to go off with someone you don’t know without my permission or Daddy’s permission, right? Good.” and maybe later with Daddy present have a broader discussion/reminder of recognizing your gut feelings and believing them.

    We’re always teaching. Use what seems odd and parse it down for them. They’ll retain it and know the difference between a good and bad situation.

  58. Idiot-Watch April 18, 2016 at 7:38 pm #

    Thanks to Ron Book’s daughter Lauren, the Girl Scouts will suffer.

  59. Beth April 18, 2016 at 8:08 pm #

    @Laurel, what if there were absolutely no gut feelings felt by your children in that scenario? If they have not been taught to be scared of all men, they might say “No, we’re not selling Girl Scout cookies” and go on playing, having no gut feelings (until Mom and Dad told them they did).

  60. Beth April 18, 2016 at 8:09 pm #

    oops sorry I meant LauraL

  61. BL April 18, 2016 at 8:46 pm #

    Trying to imagine a court proceeding in which a man is charged with “talking to girls while male with intent to purchase cookies”.

  62. James Pollock April 18, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

    Just a reminder that children are statistically more likely to be murdered by their own parents than by a stranger. So, the truly suspicious individual in this story is the father in the front yard with the kids.

  63. Fiona April 19, 2016 at 8:43 am #

    Little girls should just stop selling girl scout cookies because it encourages men to like their cookies and want to buy them off them, it also encourages men to be creepy, only women should have an interest in cookies and to buy from children because women are not creepy or never have bad intentions….

  64. lollipoplover April 19, 2016 at 9:15 am #

    I seriously don’t know why Girl Scouts don’t stop this whole cookie fundraiser. Having young girls peddle overpriced and low-percentage profit cookies with our obesity epidemic. Maybe they can switch to a Girl Scout Garden…sell CSA produce to raise money. These cookies are in so many threads here with problematic regulations and apparent Thin Mint addicts propositioning young girls out of season. Just sell the cookies in stores. You’d probably get the same profit for Girl Scouts.

    @hineata- Your husband would probably fit in well here! Don’t underestimate him, there is no standard profile for creepers here in the US, just don’t set him up in a white van rental! Even my clean cut, white husband was *flagged* in a background check for one of my girls teams…apparently, he was a 300 lb. black man incarcerated in another state serving a sentence for rape. Just goes to show you how weird it’s become….

    As for calling police, I honestly wished to keep the peace. No need to puff chests and get ready for battle (which he was trying to do with his “What are you going to do about it” and “Make me” comments when we asked him to stop yelling profanities at the players). I do worry that someone might have a weapon in their car and be mad enough to use it. You saw the video- weapons every day kill children and adults. Yet there’s more regulations to get an Eddie Eagle costume than a gun. Crazy stuff…the parents, not the kids.

  65. Avin April 20, 2016 at 11:44 am #

    @EricS : You took the words right out of my mouth in reference to

    @Not Sure: “If they were selling cookies it would’ve been obvious. No grown man should be pulling over in his vehicle to talk to a 7 and 11 year old girl unless they have a valid reason.”

    The article did not sate wether these were girls in plain clothes or Girl Scout Uniforms. If they were indeed in uniforms and you pretend you were the one driving down the street, consider what you would see—two girls ( potentially because they teach the buddy system in Girl Scouts) standing at the end of a driveway with a parent nearby (because that’s a must now too when selling cookies) not doing much of anything but standing there. If I saw a senario like I just described, I’d prob think they were selling cookies too.

    Out of uniform is a slightly different situation. Since they weren’t selling cookies they obviously didn’t have a sign or anything, so I guess that could be considered creepy, but I don’t think it’s worth a call to the police. Regardless, again, the article didn’t say what the girls were wearing so the author is at fault to begin with. It seems like they may have left out pertinent facts, for the sake of fear mongering.

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