Breaking News: Suspicious Person Alert in the Preserve Neighborhood

Wright County has confirmed that they did receive a call regarding a suspicious person in the Preserve neighborhood earlier this afternoon.

There has been a report of a suspicious person in St. Michael earlier this afternoon. Mid-afternoon Wright County Sheriffs Office received a call that a man yelled out to a young boy jumping on a trampoline in a home off of Oakwood Parkway.

According to the boy's mother (who asked not to be identified in order to protect her son's identity), the man said, "Come here little boy."

The man appeared to come out of the woods near the railroad tracks.

According to the mother, the boy started yelling "Fire, Fire" and ran inside and the police were called.

Wright County Sheriffs Office did confirm that they responded to the call and that they did a search of the area but they were unable to locate anyone.

The boy reported that the man is in his mid-20's and wearing a black hoody and jeans.

As St. Michael Patch learns more about the investigation, we will update.

Erica Richardson Horn July 26, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Just a note: there is also a polite young man going door to door selling cleaning products. He is wearing a white shirt, navy blue pants and has an I.D. tag around his neck. I just wanted to mention this to avoid confusion if he comes to your door or if you see him walking down the street.
Mike Schoemer (Editor) July 26, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Thanks Erica. I'm assuming that young man wouldn't be approaching little boys, however.
Patty July 26, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Stop selling door to door our community does not need it!!! Nice or not they are strangers approaching what we call our safe place!!!
Jerred H July 26, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Patty, I urge you to contact all local Girl Scout troops, Boy Scout Troops, STMA students, and anyone else who sells door to door then.
Patty July 26, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Jerred No need to contact those groups you mention all of them sell inside and outside of public places like strangers should do not coming to our doors!!!
Mike Schoemer (Editor) July 27, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Is that realistic to expect? Better to put a no solicit sign up maybe?
Jill Johnson July 27, 2012 at 01:42 AM
We put up a "No solicitors please" sign on our front window by the door and they still continue to ring the doorbell and pound on our front door.
Mike Schoemer (Editor) July 27, 2012 at 01:57 AM
I'm always open to having the band/sports/clubs come to my door, though. So, there's that
STMA resident July 27, 2012 at 02:17 AM
A guy that is walking near the train tracks and yells for a little boy clearly would not be selling cleaning products. Very scary
STMA July 27, 2012 at 03:24 AM
Sounds like the litte boy knew just what to do in a scary situation like today. A good reminder to have that safety talk again with my own children.
tlantwo July 27, 2012 at 04:29 AM
Heard about this story tonight. Very happy all are safe. So impressed at the 6 yr old for following the plan that his parents obviously coached. It was a reminder to us to coach our own STMA 6 yr old. Grew up in St. Cloud, just a couple years older than Jacob Wetterling. We pick these communities because hey are safe, but you never know.
Mary July 27, 2012 at 11:28 AM
Also just a little bit of info. The City of Albertville requires all door to door sales people have a permit from the City. Ask whomever comes to your door to see it. Also, sales can only be done M-F until 4:00 P.M. Anytime after 4 and on the weekends is illegal.
Happy in St. Michael July 27, 2012 at 01:25 PM
I believe all cities require this. However, most of the people who come door to door here don't have those permits (I ask). I have a "No Soliciting" sign in our door and no one (save for children) has come here trying to sell anything. I hope they catch this guy. Be aware of ANYONE who does not belong in the neighborhood. Even if they have a badge, those are easy to make and being proactive after something like this is better than wishing you had done something.
Erica Richardson Horn July 27, 2012 at 02:16 PM
To clarify, I never said the salesman and the suspicious person were one in the same. He was not approaching children, walking on the tracks or in the woods. The salesman had a city permit and he also told me that the police had approached him numerous times asking to see it as well. (Side note: Thank you to the police officers) I agree, always be aware and cautious of anyone suspicious. I am very happy that the young boy knew what to do. Excellent job to the parents who taught him so well. I know first hand how scary it is. My heart goes out to that child, it will take some time to overcome this.
Mike Schoemer (Editor) July 27, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Tom, did anyone file a report?
Kate July 27, 2012 at 03:52 PM
This is a scary event for any child of any age, but this is why people should be teaching their children what to do when this kind of thing happens.
STMAMOM July 27, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Can anyone verify that there was an attemp in Albertville last night? Supposedly in a white and blue conversion van.
Jay Sherman July 28, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Where did you hear this?
Ted July 28, 2012 at 04:28 AM
I can verify a white ford van in the saint michael area. There where people selling cleaning products and where very pushy. She told me that it wasn't about the sale it was more about helping kids in the inner city. I declined her product and told her I have family that works directly with inner city kids. She more or less called me a liar, got very upset and told me If I don't support her then I don't support the inner city kids and walked away still talking to me throwing her hands up in the air.
Ted July 28, 2012 at 04:30 AM
And yes, I saw her down the block later getting into the white ford van.
STMAMOM July 28, 2012 at 12:53 PM
I heard it from a neighbor and wasn't sure if it was just talk. I ended up calling the wright county non emergency number about it and they did not have any reports of a white and BLUE van. So hopefully it is just a rumor.
Ask97 July 30, 2012 at 06:20 AM
Someone made a comment that, "We choose these communities because there safe". Having a family member who has made her career as a criminologist and has spent the last two years interviewing the sickos that abduct children. Her main goal is to find the similarities in the way these people think and carry out there crimes. I made the comment to her shortly after our move here from cities that I love not having to worry about my kids playing in the front yard. Before I could say more she explained to me that it's communities like this where abductions are most likley to happen. It's parents like me who put there guard down. Whats even more disturbing is the premeditation that goes into the actual abduction. She found the biggest similarites in how they would plan there crime. Most would tell her they would find the neighborhood before even knowing the person they would attempt to take. They look for communities that are easy in easy out with easy freeway access. She believes they tend to watch children or teens that follow a routine, like walking home the same way from school everyday or playing at the park before dinner. Just because were a small community does not make void to wierdos.
Bex July 30, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Thanks for this article. My heart goes out to the family and especially the little boy. Such a scary thing. We will continue the never ending family dialog about strangers and what to do if approached. As far as door-to-door sales. A "No Soliciting" sign worked well for us, fortunately. We used to have one on the window of our front door and it worked almost every time. For the few who "missed" the sign (6 inches from the doorbell LOL! ), all I had to do was point to the sign, say sorry and smile. They always said oops, laughed and walked away. Also, door-to-door salesmen and "Avon" ladies have been around forever and many a family have been supported over the years by those professions. I'd rather have them coming to my door than all the goofy soliticitation calls that we get. Stay aware everyone, not only for your kids but for all the kids in our community. Mike, any updates?
Mike Schoemer (Editor) July 30, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Bex, Not at this time. On the bright side, didn't hear of any other attempts like this in that area.
AlbertvilleDood August 07, 2012 at 02:26 PM
STMAMOM it's not a rumor. It happened to us. It's a White conversion van with blue panels. The guy driving it was in his 50s.
STMAMOM August 07, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Thanks for confirming that story. I saw the blue and white van several times our neighborhood. I also called the Wright County non-emergency line when I saw it again and they said there were no reports filed about a blue and white. Thankful we have not seen him cruising the neighborhood again!
Linda September 06, 2012 at 01:03 PM
I realize this is not the section to be discussing the rude pushy, obnoxious sales people selling the expensive cleaning products; the ones that insult you and won't go away when one politely declines many times.... How wonderful the younngster knew what to do to create notice for himself and to scare off the freak that was calling for him. Good job young man and good job to his parents!!
Linda September 06, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Hi Mary, I knew Albertville required a permit and the young man that came to my door at 8:15 pm, dusk out, was scared of my 20 pound barking dog and left in a huge hurry. He asked me if my dog bites and I said that she has been known to bite (not true) but he just ran down the sidewalk and did not return. I spoke with my neighbor who said he could not get rid of the man. He went on and on-told my neighbor that he was not a man if he didn't buy this for his wife to use to clean their house and that is should be the man's decision as to what his wife used to clean. It was so funny all the "tactics" that were used on "the small town buyer". I think they figure we are all easily intimidated by them and fearful of insulting them for many different reasons. Again, my salesman came at 8:15 pm.
Ted September 06, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Thats good to know...


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