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Pair of suspicious vehicles prompt alert in Petaluma

A 13-year-old girl who reported being followed by two vehicles as she walked from Petaluma Junior High to her tutor's house Wednesday has prompted a public notification from local police reminding citizens to be on the alert.

The male drivers of the cars never attempted to communicate with the girl, and it remains unclear if she was at risk of harm, police said.

But authorities decided "to err on the side of caution" and make the public aware of the incident, said Lt. Dan Fish.

The girl said she left the junior high around 3 p.m. and was on Western Avenue when she noticed a small, blue pickup with patches of missing paint slowly follow her, then pass and circle around several times, police said.

Around Baker Street and the Petaluma Creamery, a white 4-door Volvo began doing the same thing, circling around her as she continued walking toward Walnut Park and the D Street area. police Sgt. Ken Savano said.

When she arrived at her tutor's house, the tutor called police, who issued the alert Thursday morning, he said.

Renee Semik, principal at the junior high, said she forwarded the notice to her staff, suggesting it was an opportune time to talk with students about staying safe in their travel to and from school.

Both drivers was described as white men in their mid-30s, wearing baseball hats and sunglasses.

Police said the pickup had a black lumber rack on top and was driven by a man wearing a gray baseball hat and traveling with a brown, black and white herding dog.

The driver of the Volvo was bearded and wearing a white T-shirt, a hat and sunglasses, police said.


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