Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-04-17 02:54:16 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- LMPD officers are on alert after a white van matching the description of a van driven by a man who has been trying to abduct women from parking lots.
According to a supervisor with MetroSafe, police are now on the lookout for a man in a white van after it was reportedly sighted at 19th and Market around 7:45 a.m. today. According to LMPD spokeswoman Alicia Smiley, that's where a woman says she was approached after she walked her son to his bus stop.
Bianca Points told police she was walking home after her son got on the bus when a dirty white van with its windows covered pulled up alongside her and someone inside opened the door. Smiley says Points told police three men were inside. Points ran home but says the van followed her.
"The van actually pulled up on the side of me," Points said. "And it was three men -- two in the front, one in the back. They pulled up with the doors open."
Points says she has learned one thing from living in west Louisville all her life: "when you see a van pull up, and the door's open, take off running. So running is what I did. I went home and I called 911...."
"There's a field by my house," Points said. "And I guess they expected me to come out on 18th Street and I ended up going into the house, but they made the left on 18th and continued on towards Bank Street."
Points says the van's windows were covered, and that it had a ladder rack with no ladders. The van matches the descriptions given by at least three other women who told police they were approached by a man who tried to get them into his vehicle.
Points says none of the men inside said anything to her.
On Jan. 11, an employee of the Cracker Barrel restaurant in Bardstown told police she was in the parking lot of the Cracker Barrel restaurant in Bardstown when an older, white man in an older white van offered her a ride. She also noticed a younger man in the back of the van, and said the side door was open. That woman was able to get away when she told the man her husband was standing nearby.
The next day another Cracker Barrel employee told police she was walking to her car when she noticed a man leaning inside a white van parked next to her vehicle. When she walked past him, he grabbed her and told her she was going with him. She told police she screamed and a man who happened to be in the parking lot ran towards them and the man let her go.
Before he got away, the woman said she caught sight of his license plate and saw the letters "JHL."
On Jan. 17, another attempted abduction was reported at the Republic Bank on Bardstown Road (located next to a Cracker Barrel). A female employee told police she was stopped by a man who appeared to be in his 50s, but she was able to get away.
The Bardstown Police Department has a video on its Facebook page with surveillance footage of the van.
LMPD officers are now searching for the van that was last seen at 18th and Rowan. The driver is described as a white man in his 50s or 60s with a scruffy salt-and-pepper beard, shoulder length, white hair and a dusty black ball cap. Points says the van "had a rattle, like it needed a tuneup.
If you think you've seen the van or have any information, call the LMPD crime tipline at 502-574-LMPD or just dial 911.