Sheriff’s investigation reveals ‘suspicious’ driver was just taking photos of buildings; no threat to kids

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OREGON – The Ogle County Sheriff’s Office has determined that a person taking photos from a car near two Ogle County schools was not doing anything nefarious.

“On Tuesday (Sept. 19) the individual observed taking pictures outside Creston and Kings Elementary Schools was located. Through the investigation, it was determined the subject was employed by a company to take photos of schools, restaurants, and local amenities for real estate purposes throughout many communities in northern Illinois,” said Ogle County Sheriff Brian VanVickle. “All information has been verified and there are no additional concerns with this incident.”

The sheriff’s department received two calls from school officials in Creston and Kings on Sept. 14 of a suspicious person taking pictures from the roadway in front of the schools.

Kings Superintendent Matthew Lamb issued a statement about an incident at the school, located at 100 First St., 12 miles east of Oregon, that a black four-door Audi sedan was observed taking pictures of the school’s surroundings and the front of the building.

Lamb went outside to ask the driver to move the car, and the driver immediately drove away.

The school in Kings serves about 90 elementary and middle school students in grades K-8.

Creston Elementary School, 202 W. South St., in Creston, 6 miles east of Rochelle, also serves K-8 students in DeKalb, Lee and Ogle counties.

Graduates from both schools attend Rochelle Township High School.

After the reports, school officials across the region urged parents to discuss safety tips with their children including walking in groups, not alone; avoiding distractions, such as cellphones, and paying attention to surroundings.

They urged students who are approached by a stranger to run away and seek help from others and immediately report any incident that makes a student feel uncomfortable.

Earleen Hinton

Earleen Hinton

Earleen creates content and oversees production of 8 community weeklies. She has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.