SHIRLEY (CBS) — Police say they’re investigating after a woman was approached by a suspicious man in a van while jogging on Tuesday.

Shirley Police Chief Thomas Goulden said the woman was jogging alone on Hazen Road Tuesday when the man drove toward her in a large green van with Massachusetts plates..

She reportedly told police that a scruffy-looking man in his mid-50s or early 60s was in the parked van, and asked her if she wanted a bottle of water.

“The individual did not, she said, extend the water to her, she got the impression he wanted her to reach into the vehicle,” Chief Goulden said.

Goulden said the woman returned to her home about 15 minutes later and called police. She told them the Massachusetts plates on the van had a partial number of 930.

(WBZ-TV graphic)

(WBZ-TV graphic)

In addition to calling police, the woman sent an alert to her friends on Facebook. Her friend and neighbor Susan Hines told WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager she posted a warning on her Facebook page about the incident.

“She’s jogging along, and she had a guy come toward her in a van,” said Hines. “He said, ‘would you like some water?’ and she’s like, that’s weird. And she was backing up to get away from him, and then she saw someone in the back, and she’s like, that’s even stranger–so she high-tailed it.”

One of the reasons the woman was so alarmed was the fact that, two towns away in Princeton, Vanessa Marcotte was found murdered earlier this month after she went missing while jogging. There have been no arrests in that case.

“This woman obviously did the right thing by reporting what she saw, and I’m hoping it was truly a Good Samaritan asking for a bottle of water and it wasn’t some individual looking to do something else,” he said. “I would just encourage people, if it doesn’t feel right, make the phone call to the police department and let us check it out.”

Goulden said his officers have been out patrolling and looking for the van, and nobody else has reported coming in contact with it.

He said he hopes people take extra precautions and be aware of their location, especially when running by themselves.

“My message to joggers or just people in general is, when it comes to suspicious vehicles, people, activities, I recommend you call the police department, report what you see,” Goulden said. “I’d rather have an officer check it out, and find out it was unfounded, versus not investigating it at all.”

Police are asking the public to notify them of any information they have about this particular case, or about anything suspicious like it.


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