Sparta police warn of suspicious incidents

SPARTA, Mich. (WOOD) — Police in Sparta are advising parents to speak with their children about safety after recent complaints about suspicious people.

In a post to its Facebook page Sunday evening, the Sparta Police Department was clear that no children had been injured or abducted.

However, police said there had been a few reports of people going up to kids on the street. In one, a girl was apparently asked by a man in a van if she wanted to go with him to see puppies.

Sparta police said parents should talk to their children about what to do if a stranger comes up to them and about being vigilant.

Michigan State Police say parents should teach their children about signs a situation is dangerous, like if an adult asks them for help or makes them uncomfortable. You should also make it clear to your kids that they should always ask permission before going anywhere with anyone and that they can and should say no to an adult if something feels wrong.

The National Crime Prevention Council suggests teaching kids the “No, Go, Yell, Tell” method: Children confronted with a suspicious or dangerous situation should say no, run away, yell as loudly as they can and tell a trusted adult about what happened.