Sometimes, you gotta print the whole story, just to prove that THIS IS THE WHOLE STORY. Â Note what is missing. (Hint: It’s not the child.)
Schenectady police investigate possible missing child
Schenectady police are investigating a report of a possible missing child.
They say an unconfirmed third party saw a child get into a white Ford Econoline van around 10:30 or 11 a.m. on Tuesday near Emmons and Henry streets.
The child is described as a white male, about 9 years old old and 4 feet 10 inches tall. He has a skinny build, brown hair, and may answer to the name â€œTyler.â€
The van driver is described as a white or Hispanic male with a full beard, while shirt, and blue baseball hat.
Police say the van appears to be dented on the passenger side and have a custom gas cap.
They stress that right now no official missing person report has been filed.
Did you figure out what’s missing? ANY EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER THAT THIS WAS A KIDNAPPING OR EVEN ODD. Â There was no screaming, no scuffle, no careening away and, most of all, no child seems to be missing.
But that doesn’t mean it WASN’T a child kidnapping in broad daylight by a violent rapist does it? Come on, why ELSE would a child ever enter a white van?
Let the terror begin! Â – L
I tell ya, the next hipster craze will be for abandoning black in preference of “child abductor white”
Don’t say you weren’t warned Williamsburg!
“Did you know you cannot buy a white van without proof that you are a predator?”
So that’s why they would only sell me the maroon one. Now I know.
What’s “an unconfirmed third party”? Is that like my cousin’s girlfriend’s sister’s friend’s brother?
Did the van have “FREE CANDY” spray painted on the side? Because often times that is a dead giveaway.
How dumb a kidnapper would have to be to actually try kidnapping a kid while driving a white van these days
“How dumb a kidnapper would have to be to actually try kidnapping a kid while driving a white van these days”
Glad you ran this. One of the reasons this non-story really grabbed my attention , and why my first reaction was “I’ve got to email Lenore with this!” is that my husband drives a van nearly identical to the one pictured. He’s a carpet/flooring installer, and for obvious practical reasons his ride of choice is an older, windowless cargo van; he replaces them every few years, and almost every one of them has been white, and so for years my daughters and I have referred lovingly to his vehicles as “serial killer vans” or “pedophilemobiles.” If he’s supposed to be meeting a new customer at their home or business, I’ll sometimes phone them to say, you know, “John will meet you there at 5, he’ll be the guy in the white serial killer van.” People generally get the joke and have a laugh.
So obviously, it’s a thing, and such a clichÃ©d thing that I can comfortably use it kiddingly as an ice breaker, so no big deal, right? Now I’m having to stop and think “not so fast, missy.” Funny story: about 10 years ago, my husband was returning from a job site with his brother (who’d been working with him) in the passenger seat, and his 14 year old son (ditto) lying in back, or so he thought. What the kid was really doing was holding up to the window in the rear door a little sign he’d made by writing “HELP” in marker on lined paper. Many motorists called the police, but by the time they pulled the guys over, sonny boy had already been dropped off at home, never having mentioned his little prank. The first cops on the scene were ready to start tearing apart the van, they wanted to remove and unroll a roll of carpet and everything, without any hint to John what it was all about .
Luckily, this is a small city, and my husband had been a hell raising drunk as a youngster, so the next three cops on the scene had all either attended high school with my husband or his brother, or knew enough about him to know what crimes he might be capable of committing , and what accusations would be laughed out of court.
At least there was the ill-conceived joke to warrant investigation that time, but now that element seems to have become unnecessary. My husband’s 5 year old nephew’s favorite thing is going for a ride in Uncle John’s work van, so maybe we’d better start worrying about busybodies who don’t like the look of a scruffy looking dude in stained, ripped (carpet work takes a huge toll on work clothes) jeans and a t-shirt taking a child for a ride in a white van.
I’m a teacher and you wouldn’t believe the number of kids I see entering vans during pick-up after school. Not a sight for the faint of heart.
I have been Vanpooling in a white “pedo” van The guy who drives it is black I usually sit up front, Well school started last week and there were a bunch of kids sitting at the corner. We stopped at the stop sign all the kids got up and came over to the van ready to get in as if we were sent by the school… some mom came running out with her phone ” SOme black man in a van is trying to snatch our kids” she saw me in the front so I get out and try to explain we are just stopping at the stop sign… The company reallllly needs to get a fleet of new vans in a blue with the name one them
This happened in Scottsdale as well a few months back. Every child in the school was accounted for and there was no missing child reported anywhere, but somebody saw a child get into a car near a school before dismissal time.
The father of said child called the pollice (after many hours, probably having no idea there was a problem) and said, oh yeah…that was me, I picked him up for an appointment.
It may be odd to see a child get into a car in the middle of the day, but unless a child is reported missing, what a complete waste of police time!
We saw so many police cars and helicopters, we thought the city was under attack!
I read this story and I had to read it three times because I thought for sure I was missing something. Oh my gosh I can’t believe it.
What in gods name is a custom gas cap and how on earth would they know that the child may be named Tyler. Where are they getting this info???
BDK – Here’s a scenario for how the police know the child “May answer to Tyler”:
Unconfirmed Third Party (UTP) sees a white van with a custom gas cap (?) pull up near a child. The White Or Hispanic Male Driver (WOHMD) calls the nearby child by the name “Tyler”, and the child (“Tyler”) gets in the van. Since the WOHMD and “Tyler” don’t at first glance appear to be father and son or some obvious relationship in the mind of UTP, the incident sticks out as slightly odd. UTP tells a Self Righteous, Judgemental, Easily Panicked, Busybody Friend (SRJEPBF) about the incident, but is not concered enough to call the police herself. SRJEPBF immediately rewrites the story she’s been told as OBVIOUS, TERRIFYING KIDNAPPING OF INNOCENT LITTLE BOY (“Tyler”) by HORRIBLE, EVIL-MINDED, POSSIBLY ILLEGAL ALIEN RAPIST MAN (HEMPIARM, formerly knows as WHOMD). SRJEPBF calls the police with this terrible crime, so they can alert the community and whip everyone up to the customary state of frenzy.
In the mean time, “Tyler” and HEMPIARM (formerly known as WHOMD, possibly aka “Dad” or “Uncle Juan”), have gone home to dinner, and have no idea they’ve been involved in this heinous, unspeakable crime.
In other news, I also would like to know what a custom gas cap is, and how you can see it since my gas cap is generally covered by that little metal flap thing.
“May answer to Tyler”. Or not. Some stinker who ignores when he is being called.
My best friend & I have daughters who are approximately 4 hours apart in age. One night, they wanted a sleepover. Sometime after 11:00, his daughter decided she didn’t want to do the sleepover anymore and instead wanted to go home. Since it was a long drive to get her home, we arranged to meet halfway.
Our wives did mutual facepalms when they realized that their 30-something white male husbands had just transferred a half sleeping 5 year old girl in her pajamas from a black truck to a white van in a gas station parking lot at midnight.
The evil part of me just thought of signing my kids’ next permission slip with “may ride with a parent volunteer, but NOT if his van is white.”
Speaking of school, my sister asked me the other day if she could use me as a reference. Apparently she has to provide a list of previous volunteer experience in order to be allowed to attend the training required to volunteer in her KG kid’s classroom.
We have evidence that your friends neighbor’s mother’s second cousin attended a communist party meeting. Therefore that’s proof that you’re a communist as well. Also do you want to explain why you drive a red car instead of a blue one?
This was the hysteria during McCarthyism. It looks like we’re going through it again
Oh, that was probably my kid who got into that van. I haven’t seen him for a couple of days but I didn’t really think to call anyone.
Yeah, his name is Tyler.
Time for the child abductors to wise up and start driving yellow VW Bugs.
@Obi-Wandreas: That’s epic!
” Apparently she has to provide a list of previous volunteer experience in order to be allowed to attend the training required to volunteer in her KG kidâ€™s classroom.”
Is the kid is named Tyler? This sounds very suspicious.
Gee, let’s see. The father is an electrician and his son needed a lift to school. The horror.
My neighbor is an electrician with a work van.
His daughter is biking to school this year and she’s a tiny little girl and not the fastest biker. He had the idea that he would follow her in, on his way to work and drive slowly behind her to make sure she was OK.
We wise neighbors gently reminded him, “Dude. You have a CREEPER van. Don’t drive anywhere near kids on the way to school.”
He let her go with the other kids instead. Smart move.
@lollipoplover, that cracked me up. In fact, all these comments are kind of hilarious.
I’ve been wondering if there’s a psychiatric designation (like fear of spiders) for whitecreepervanitis.
Imagine if pharma companies researched and treated this condition. I’d love to see those commercials, showing the mom freaking out at the bus stop instead of those erectile dysfunction ones.
For all of the trade jobs that make workers drive these vans, I’m truly shocked there isn’t a support group or a
The other day one of my husband’s coworkers, who I’ve met once or twice socially, realized that she and her husband weren’t going to be able to meet their young elementary school daughter at the bus after school. They were stuck in some kind of court meeting that was already running 3 hours late. I got a description of the kid (who I’d never met), drove to the bus stop… and then realized that I was about to walk up to a strange kid in front of a bunch of other moms and say, “Are you Megan? Hi, I’m Michelle. Your mommy asked me to come pick up up.”
I did have a “safe word” to tell the kid, which I think is a good idea. Luckily no one seemed too concerned as I loaded her up and took her to the library with my kids, but I’m thinking it would have been a very different story if I was a man, or if I had a white van instead of a black SUV with “robot family” decals on the back window.
I have two older white mini-vans with very tinted windows. My kids call them the “Creepy White Vans.” So far, we have only had one incident, that may have happened in any vehicle.
We traveled across country to see family. While there, I had my husband drive us to the house I grew up in so the kids could look at it. We pulled into the driveway slightly, paused a moment while I pointed out where my bedroom was, then proceeded to take the back way to town and look at the school that had been my elementary school and my grandfather’s high school.
Where we were pulled over. Apparently a neighbor reported us as being suspicious. My husband had to explain that we were showing the kids the house I grew up in. It took a while, but eventually, they did let us go. Which just makes my kids laugh more and tell friends that we will be meeting them with the “Creepy White Van”.
When did the stereotype morph from rusty vans to white vans?
Wait. Am I missing something here? Someone saw a kid get into a white van.
That’s it. Right?
And they called the police and the police are investigating…because a kid got into a car?
I’m missing something. Please tell me there is more to this story.
At our neighborhood schools, the kids are taught about “lures”, meaning the type of tricks that an evil doer would use to get a kid to get into car, van or house with them. Every once in a while, there is a rash of “suspicious van” sightings that break out in the neighborhood. Once one van is reported and shared on Facebook, there are almost inevitably 3 or 4 more sightings within the next week. I think kids see and report what they’ve been taught is suspicious, then hyper-vigilance kicks in and kids and parents see them everywhere.
After one rash of “sightings”, I warned a contractor friend of mine not to drive his work truck in a certain area, because everyone there was getting all worked up about suspicious vans.
Here is another case that illustrates it pretty well:
A man in an SUV drives up to some kids and asks them if they’ve seen his cat. They run off and report it, because it seems just like one of the lures they learned in school. There is a news story, the neighborhood gets worked up. Turns out the guy really lost his cat. The local alderman (city council member) has to address the situation to the press.
But the driver was (maybe) brown-skinned! OF COURSE it was an abduction!
According to Google Maps Street View, THIS is what the intersection of Emmons Rd and Henry St in Schenectady, NY looks like:
(SPOILER ALERT: It’s a playground. Outside of a building that’s labeled by Google as a “Mentoring For Change Program.” It’s got a fence and mulch bedding and plastic slides. Duhn-duhn-DUM.)
(Sorry for the re-post, but this is a better link from a better angle, where you can actually see the Emmons street sign, lest there be any doubt I’ve got the right location.)
According to Google Maps Street View, THIS is what the intersection of Emmons Rd and Henry St in Schenectady, NY looks like:
(SPOILER ALERT: Itâ€™s a playground. Outside of a building thatâ€™s labeled by Google as a â€œMentoring For Change Program.â€ Itâ€™s got a fence and mulch bedding and plastic slides. Duhn-duhn-DUM.)
Aside from the useless accusations against people who drive white vans. This shared national phobia has the additional problem of directing attention in the absolute wrong direction when there is an actual problem. Remember the DC sniper? Everyone was busy looking for a white van while the blue Caprice was sighted by multiple witnesses to the shootings at multiple shooting locations and yet the public was endlessly alerted about white vans, but not the blue Caprice.
For those wondering what a “custom gas cap” is: http://bfy.tw/1cM4
It’s the white vans. They’re dangerous. Ban white vans!!
Just last week my car broke down. My brother was not working that week for some reason, so he was kind enough to lend me his /white van/ to go puck my kid up from school. When I approached my child, one of the older girls actually stopped him from getting inside and called a teacher because my son, being adopted, looked nothing like me.
So because I was driving a white van I was a creepy dude trying to get a little boy to come with me. The teacher only relented when my son started crying and I told the teacher she could call the police if she wanted. No other teachers or kids seemed to have a problem the following days, but still.
I sent this to Chief of Police Brian Kilcullen of the Schenectady Police. I’ll post any reply I get, which I expect to be none:
Dear Chief Kilcullen:
I read online about the small child who got into a white van with a bearded Hispanic male, and how this is being treated as a possible child abduction.
May I ask how you came to this conclusion, considering that there is no report of a missing child and that there was no evidence of an abduction?
It looks like the Schenectady Police Department really hit the panic button much too quickly. Causing a public scare is not good governance. Just a word to the wise.
Very truly yours,
I was in college in DC during the sniper attacks. If you recall, the first leads reported there being a white van in the area of each of the attacks… Cuz they are everywhere!! Turns out the white vans were falsely accused.
“May answer to the name of Tyler”
That made me laugh. It’s like a missing dog poster.
Good grief! I just realized how dangerous the public shuttle vans in my community are. They’re white. Sure glad mine’s gray.
That could be his DAD picking him up!!
But Dean, do the shuttles have windows? Because that’s okay…..!
It said “white *or* Hispanic,” which is kind of funny if you think about it. 😛
Well, I hope they come out with an update saying that as of today, no local kids have been reported missing, and therefore this was a false alarm. Or if one has been reported, provide something more useful than “may answer to Tyler.”
The trick is to have a black SUV with tinted windows. While driving it, wear a nondescript dark suit and mirrored sunglasses. While outside the SUV, move with cocky assurance and stare anybody down who notes your presence.
Now you can do anything you like with impunity. Everybody will think you are with some agency affiliated with the Department of Homeland Security…or one of the ‘Men in Black’ and not mess with you no matter what seemingly sinister or odd thing you might do.
In other news, a big, hairy, scary Caucasian dressed entirely in black was seen holding a small blonde boy on a local bridge. (Dad and son went for a walk to the park over the bridge, son got tired on the way home, Dad picked him up. My husband is built like a tree trunk and has Jeremy Renner Resting Face.)
@Havva is the dc sniper case where the fear of white vans started? Or was it before that?
My two kids get into a similar van every day after school, to go to their after school program at the local park. just waiting for them and the other 7 kids who ride with them to be reported missing now…
My youngest has started semi-jokingly yelling “white van danger white van” when he sees one of those white utility type vans. The first time he did it, I questioned him, seems the school system taught the kids the “danger of white vans.” Funny thing is guess what type of van most of the school maintenance guys use? Yep! White utility vans! That’s why he now jokes about it. (He’s 13 now and realizes that not all white vans immediately mean danger is near.)
@caiti, the fear of white vans existed before the DC sniper. The sniper happened when I was in college. And I distinctly remember registering the white van=creeper image at the age of 10. I think rather than the sniper creating the white van fears, the fear of white vans caused witnesses to note any white work vehicles in the area, and the cops to ignore the shifting descriptions of white vans (or maybe it is a panel truck). The description shifted enough I think some proposed the sniper had access to a whole fleet! Meanwhile the blue car had a steady description but the police didn’t release the description.
While the frenzy whipped up then may have refreshed the fear of white vans, it definitely wasn’t the source.
Here is a story about a white van with “free candy” crudely painted on the sides seen around. http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2015/08/27/white-van-with-free-candy-painted-in-red-makes-natomas-parents-nervous/. I was glad to hear that the only child interviewed for this piece described it as “it was too fake to be true”.
@lollipoplover: “Iâ€™ve been wondering if thereâ€™s a psychiatric designation (like fear of spiders) for whitecreepervanitis. Imagine if pharma companies researched and treated this condition.”
-itis would be an infection. What we need is leuko + Ancient Greek for ‘van’ + phobia…
I wonder if Osama bin Laden drove a white van
Wow. Please tell me there’s going to be a follow-up. You can’t leave me in suspense!
“I wonder if Osama bin Laden drove a white van”
The Oklahoma City bombers had a van, not sure what color it was.
Whitevanphobia is sweeping the country. It makes absolutely no sense at all and that’s why I’m interested in it. I want to explain why it’s happening, the flaw in our brain which makes the phenomenon possible, and why so many see this nonsense as fact.
This page explains the law of associated memory. Brain cells connect together and build ‘roads’ between them. Once you understand this, you can see how you can build ‘roads’ that you don’t want. This happens without you knowing it happens and can make your life hell!
I have a page called ‘Puppet’ and it talks about Emotional Hijacking. This is an uncontrollable response and the reason behind Mike Tyson biting Evander Holyfield’s ear. This can do more than ear biting. It can make you develop whitevanphobia
This page talks of bureaucracy. At first glance you may think that this has nothing to do with the human brain. It does. Bureaucracy is an automated form of management. Things are done automatically without thought. We’ve all experience the stupidity of bureaucracy and have felt the results of mechanical thinking. (non thinking) Our own brain has a non thinking part in it called the cerebellum.
The cerebellum makes our heart beat and lungs breath. It handles more jobs than this as well. When you first learned how to drive, there were a lot of things to think about. As you practice, your cerebellum constructed millions of automatic programs for driving so that you will eventually be able to drive without even thinking! Automatic thinking can be very useful. However (as with bureaucracy) it can get out of control if we allow it to.
The moral of the story
Seeing a child in a white van can automatically put you into an uncontrollable frenzy and make you look like a moron
The Schenectady police should be investigated for a possible missing brain.
@James Pollock: The Oklahoma City bombers drove a Ryder truck, and those are yellow.
“The Oklahoma City bombers drove a Ryder truck, and those are yellow.”
Ryder trucks aren’t all yellow. On the other hand, they also aren’t vans. Hmm. I wonder why I remember them as driving a rented van rather than a truck, since, now prompted, I clearly remember “Ryder truck”, too.
Well, there you have it, folks, proof that I can CAN be wrong. I imagine I’ll be hearing about it for quite a while.
I’m curious, how many crimes/abductions have been committed using a white van?… Or is that just a Hollywood thing?
They were doing the kid a favor by letting him sit in a windowless white vehicle instead of a hot car.
More glass on a car would let more sunlight in which turns it into a greenhouse.
You need a windowless white van to conceal the puppies and candy. I find it surprising that everyone has overlooked the linchpin in the evidence, obviously the baseball cap. If the UTP had noted the team, maybe they would have by now found the unreported missing boy who might answer to “Tyler” despite his real name.
These comments made my day. The acronyms, the “help” sign, the unconscious girl transferred from van to van in a parking lot! I wish these posts had like buttons.
I’ve searched a couple times in the last couple of days for a follow-up story, but there has been none. I assume that means the report was either someone’s imagination or nothing bad actually happened.
Didn’t the WTC bombers drive a van? It was a Ryder van, so not white, but still.
“It was a Ryder van, so not white,”
Ryder trucks come in white or yellow.
I just don’t know anymore, for the life of me – how such a crazy society is expecting children to grow up sane.
If all the people who aid, abet and otherwise support such ridiculously stupid and paranoid hysteria were actually released from duty within the public domain as participating citizens, and locked away within the looney bins they appear to belong in, I’m beginning to wonder if there’d be enough of us left to actually run the country.
The scary thing is that they’re actually serious. Pranks, I can handle. This is something entirely different.
But then again, it just goes to prove how much common sense has flown south.
(and even the penguins didn’t want it!)
Can’t say that I blame them…