Three girls told police that a man in a van followed them Thursday evening, made several U-turns and asked three times if they wanted a ride.
The girls - ages 13, 14 and 17 - were walking in the 800 block of South Central Avenue around 6 p.m. when the van approached, Lodi Police Sgt. Fernando Martinez said.
The driver slowed, offered them a ride, continued driving, turned around and repeated the process two more times. They ultimately ignored the man and went to one girl's home, told a parent and it was reported to police 45 minutes after the incident.
The girls said the van was older and either blue or green, with rear windows but no side windows, Martinez said. The driver was a Hispanic man with dark complexion and a mustache, and he spoke to them in Spanish.
In such situations, children should try to get to public places, such as a local store, if they're not close to home, Martinez said. If the vehicle stops, he said, children should run while yelling for help.
Lodi High teen takes first in engineering contest
Lodi High senior Jon Ford placed first in a recent engineering competition held at San Joaquin Delta College. He was among 125 students from eight regional high schools that participated in the annual Engineering and Technical Day in Stockton on Jan. 27.
Ford took the top prize in an intro-drafting competition. Sophomore Kameron Smith placed second in a similar contest for his own grade level.
Also at Engineering and Technical Day, Laurie Purdy, a senior at Tokay High, placed second in an architectural contest. And, Galt High School students Preston Death and Jordan Huff took second in the premiere contest to build a robot.
The similar California Skills-USA 38th annual State Leadership and Skills Conference was held in Ceres Jan. 31, and students at both Lodi and Bear Creek high schools participated.
Among the Lodi High gold winners were Ford, juniors Brock Mallory and Jesse Bonilla-Culp, and sophomore Sydney Hall. Juniors Damian Fernandez, Chris Gillespie and Ty Laskowski, and sophomores Melanie Renton and Smith took silver.
Elementary school wins coveted field trip award
A teacher at Marengo Ranch Elementary School in Galt was chosen from among 25,000 applicants throughout the country seeking money from Target for field trips.
Jamie Hughes, a fifth-grade teacher, will receive $800 to take her 31 students later this month to the Discovery Museum Science and Space Center in Sacramento.
The Target Field Trip Grants Program was founded to help supplement shrinking school budgets across the country. Every year, the national big-box chain distributes 5,000 grants totaling $4 million to educators looking to fill this gap, according to a press release.
The company reported that applications for the 2009-10 school year will be available at www.target.com/fieldtrips beginning in September.