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Possible Sightings Reported of Suspect Who Approached Girl Near GVJHS

Sheriff's detectives say one lead involving a suspicious driver near Dos Pueblos High turned out to be a false alarm

The Sheriff’s Department created this sketch of the suspect using details recalled by the Goleta Valley Junior High School student who reported the encounter.
The Sheriff’s Department created this sketch of the suspect using details recalled by the Goleta Valley Junior High School student who reported the encounter.

Residents in Goleta have reported potential sightings of a man believed to have accosted an eighth-grade girl last month near Goleta Valley Junior High School, including a report of a suspicious man driving near Dos Pueblos High School on Friday.

Someone took down the license plate number, and Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department detectives contacted the man and determined he had a legitimate reason for being in the area and driving the way he was, according to spokesman Drew Sugars.

On Feb. 3, a 13-year-old GVJHS student reported being approached by a man in a vehicle as she walked home from school. She said he drove toward her on the opposite side of the street and offered her a ride. She declined, and the driver made a U-turn in front of the school and drove back toward her, coming up from behind, and demanded that she “get in the car!”

The girl reportedly ran back toward campus, and the driver sped away toward Fairview Avenue.

The suspect was described as a white male in his 60s or 70s with medium-length white hair and white facial hair that had a few days of growth. He was wearing a red baseball cap and driving an older, dark-colored four-door compact car with no noticeable markings or stickers, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

The girl and her mother helped law enforcement create a sketch and computer composite of the suspect, and school districts sent out warning e-mails and letters to parents about students walking to and from school.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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