Mom plans to buy daughter mace following suspicious after-school incident

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HOPEWELL, Va. -- Police canvassed a Hopewell neighborhood Friday, one day after two teenage girls reported suspicious run-ins with a man in a pick-up truck. The run-ins happened Thursday between the 2000 and 2500 blocks of Atlantic Streets in Hopewell. In each case, the man in the truck followed the girls down the street and said inappropriate things to them.

Police canvass Hopewell neighborhood.

Police canvass Hopewell neighborhood.

"The driver stated to one of the students, 'If I were any younger, I would ask you to get in the truck,'" a Hopewell Police spokesman said. "The truck is only described as a smaller, blue/green pickup being driven by a white male in his late 30’s or early 40’s. He was wearing a black 'beanie' and a gray sweatshirt."

Mazarine Singleton's 17-year-old daughter was one of the young women who reported being approached by the man in the truck.

"Apparently this guy has problems," Singleton said. "I want all parents out there to be aware. If there are young ladies out there and maybe even young boys. we don't know. Keep your eyes on your children."

Mazarine Singleton

Mazarine Singleton

The point of Friday's neighborhood police canvass was to both gather clues and let neighbors know what happened.

"We will have an increased presence in the area, and we encourage citizens to report these types of incidents as soon as they happen," Hopewell Police Captain Mike Whittington said.

Singleton suggested children walk to and from schools in groups -- for their own protection.

"I told her she should have started running and screaming. When something like that happens make a lot of noise," she said. "I'm ready to buy my daughter a can of mace and a whistle."

Anyone with information was asked to call the Hopewell/Prince George Crime Solvers at 804-541-2202.