Creeper vans with no windows in the back being driven by shaggy looking dudes carry the stereotype of kidnapping women and children. Are they really that scary? What does Private Security do about this at night?
This is one of my favorite scenarios that I look for on patrol. When Security has a contract to protect a property, and patrol hits are made regularly, it becomes easy to spot vehicles that are out of place with the community. I call them “Scary White Vans” because they are almost always white. The lone male driver can just be anyone.
Security enjoys finding out what’s inside. While most people turn and run from these rolling horror cages, they actually attract security. Why? Because security wants to be the hero and save any potential victims inside, so we approach cautiously.
Some of the people are simply homeless or nomadic and this is their home. Security politely asks them to leave. This was the case of the white van in the picture.
The primer black van in the other photo kept cruising the parking lot of a couple apartment complexes during the night, and the driver didn’t live there. Every time security would approach, the driver would speed off. There was no front license plate, and the rear license plate was covered with a ball hitch. The driver always wore camouflage clothing.
What can security do? I found the black van parked at a drug store one night. Armed, and in uniform I took the opportunity to photograph the license plate and one side of the van before the owner came out to confront me. Again, he was dressed in camouflage and he said: what’s going on here? I told him that this van had been seen at some apartments and that I was “just taking pictures” of it. He got angry, and I left. I took the information to the next police officer who entered the information in their computer system. He knew my patrol car and what I looked like, and now he knows I have more information. He was never seen at the apartments again.
Security can take a proactive approach, ask questions, take pictures and document suspicious activity. Working with local law enforcement to document this activity helps them with information on file should the vehicle license plate be reported again. More Information