Lost couple were seeking directions
By Bert Lehman
The Clintonville Police Department initially released a press release the morning of Jan. 7, stating that the department had received three reports of suspicious subjects in a vehicle near St. Martin Parochial School and Rexford/Longfellow Elementary School.
The press release stated the initial report indicated that two students, while walking to the Clintonville Public Library on Wednesday, Jan. 6 at approximately 11:50 a.m., were approached by two males in a car, asking for directions to County Trunk M. The press release also stated a St. Martin student reported seeing the same described subjects and vehicle on South Clinton Avenue near Rexford/Longfellow Elementary at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
The Clintonville Police Department then received a report on Thursday, Jan. 7 that two teachers from Rexford/Longfellow Elementary School observed a suspicious vehicle parked near the south end of the playground on Sixth Street on Monday, Jan. 4, and the operator appeared to be taking photos of the playground area with a tablet, the press release stated.
This prompted the Clintonville Police Department to alert the schools and ask that parents be notified to use extra caution when dropping off or picking up their children at the schools. In addition, the Clintonville Police Department stepped up patrol in the areas of the schools to watch for and investigate any suspicious subjects in the area. Teachers and staff at the schools were also asked to report any suspicious activity to the police immediately.
The Clintonville Police department released another press release on Friday, Jan. 8, with an update of the situation. The press release stated that at around 8 a.m. on Jan. 8 the department received a call from an individual from Rothschild who said he and his wife may be the people the department was looking for in regard to the suspicious vehicle.
“The gentleman stated that he and his wife were watching the newscast on Thursday evening and learned of the reported suspicious vehicle and occupants approaching children in Clintonville, asking for directions,” police said. “This individual stated that he and his wife were in the area to do repossession on a vehicle for a dealership, and got lost. He went on to state that they got turned around with their directions, so they did in fact stop and ask some young people where Highway M was located.”
Rothschild Police confirmed that this person drove a vehicle that matched the description of the reported suspicious vehicle.
The press release also stated that it was confirmed that a Waupaca County sheriff’s deputy was approached by the same individual while at a local gas station just before noon the same day, asking for the same directions. The deputy reported this to the Clintonville Police Department as soon as he learned of the incident.
With assistance from the Rothschild Police Department, photos of the individuals as well as their vehicle were obtained by the Clintonville Police Department. The children who initially reported the incident later positively identified them.
The press release also stated that the report of an individual on Sixth Street possibly taking photos of the playground at Rexford/Longfellow Elementary School was not believe to be related to the first reported incident.
“Police will continue to investigate that as a separate incident and continue to provide stepped up patrol in the area of the schools,” the press release said.