Ripon Police are asking neighbors in the Meritage neighborhood to be on the lookout for a red Chevy Silverado crew cab pickup truck that was seen following joggers in the area.
Last week, a woman reported seeing a middle-age Hispanic man in the truck watching joggers as he drove slowly through the area of West Colony Road and Atlantic Avenue.
“She said that four or five times she had seen the same vehicle and male watching people,” said Ripon Police Sgt. Steve Merchant.
Merchant said there were other reports of the man writing something down as he was watching. On Tuesday, a man saw the same driver a half mile away at Acacia Avenue and Milgeo Avenue doing the same thing.
“As he tried to catch up to the vehicle, the vehicle sped out of the area,” said Merchant.
No law was broken, but police want to act proactively to make sure no crime will be committed. They want to identify the man and find out what he was doing.
Police patrols have been increased in the area, especially around 7 a.m. when the man was spotted. Police also advise joggers take somebody with them, or at least bring a cell phone so they can call the police if they see anything unusual.
Neighborhood resident Dan Morris saw the police alert on his Nixle e-mail account used by Ripon Police. His kids go to school around the same time of the morning that the man was seen just a few blocks from his house. He said watchful neighbors helped police capture burglars in the neighborhood and he’s thankful someone reported the red pickup.
“If it doesn’t look right, let’s have police look at it rather than take it into our own hands or just turn a blind eye to it,” said Morris.
Police say as a department in a small town, they pride themselves in responding to any neighborhood call.
“They call us for auto alarms, they call us with suspicious circumstances, they call us if their neighbors garage door is open, it’s great. It makes our job a lot easier having extra eyes and ears out there,” said Merchant.