A Kamloops mother is warning women to be vigilant after her 19-year-old daughter was allegedly followed home by a person in a vehicle.
Michelle Onyango said her daughter, Mya, was stopped in her vehicle at an intersection on Pacific Way at about 3 a.m. on July 11, en route home from a friend’s house, when the driver of a dark grey pickup truck made a left-hand turn in front of Mya’s vehicle and completed a u-turn to pull up behind her.
“She thought that was extremely unusual,” Onyango said,” noting the driver could have simply taken a right-hand turn if intending to go in that direction.
From the intersection, Onyango said her daughter noticed the pickup truck driver was making the same turns she was and speeding up when she did.
When Mya arrived home at an apartment complex in Sahali, the pickup parked beside her, Onyango said.
“She just got out and ran into our complex,” Onyango said, adding the driver turned off the truck, but didn’t leave it, before driving away.
Onyango said she was irate to hear what had happened.
“You want to be able to go out and over to your friend’s house and drive home and not have to worry that some guy’s going to follow you home and make you feel extremely uncomfortable and scared,” Onyango said.
She said her daughter described the driver as a man in his 30s, wearing a ball cap, but she didn’t get the licence plate or make of the truck.
A couple of days later, Mya came across social media posts from other females who have had similar experiences involving a similar vehicle, which compelled Onyango to post a warning on Facebook.
“Although what he did was supremely creepy, it’s not illegal, though the police could talk to him,”Onyango told KTW. “I don’t know what his intentions are, but they’re creepy nonetheless. I’ve never followed somebody to their home.”
Her post yielded comments of similar incidents, including one from a woman who said she and some friends had been followed by a grey pickup on July 13.
The woman said she reported that incident to police and shared photos of the suspect vehicle online, which Onyango replied looked similar to the truck that followed her daughter. Onyango said she will also file a police report.
Kamloops RCMP Staff Sgt. Martin Van Laer said police received a report on July 13 regarding a man driving a grey pickup truck believed to have followed some people from a pub on Rogers Way to a restaurant in Sahali.
Van Laer said police spoke to all parties involved, including the suspect, and determined no criminal activity took place. He said police have no reason to suspect malicious intent.
Van Laer said police were unable to determine if the pursuit had occurred accidentally or on purpose.
He said the detachment hadn’t received other similar reports, but advised those with concerns to call police at 250-828-3000.
“When in doubt, we absolutely encourage the public to give us a call,” he said. “If they think that something is out of place or you feel that someone may be following you for reasons unknown, we certainly encourage prudence. We don’t want people to take justice into their own hands or to confront people if they don’t feel comfortable.”
Onyango said drivers or pedestrians who find themselves in the same situation as her daughter should be mindful of their surroundings, get to a safe place and contact 911. She also advised writing down a detailed description of the suspect and vehicle, and driving to the police detachment.