PEPPERELL -- Pepperell Police Chief David Scott announced last week that police have investigated and continue to investigate reports of suspicious vehicles driving around town, often taking photos.
Pepperell police located vehicles matching the descriptions given by residents, and, so far, there does not appear to be any criminal activity.
Chief Scott praised the vigilance of the residents of Pepperell in quickly bringing their suspicions to police. Police continue to investigate these reports, and Chief Scott urges residents to keep their eyes open, as they are the best source of information on suspicious activity.
"After locating vehicles matching the descriptions that were reported to police, we determined that the drivers of these vehicles were a land surveyor and a newspaper delivery person," Chief Scott said. "However, we continue to investigate every report of suspicious activity that we come across. I am proud of the vigilance and quick-thinking shown by our residents. They are our eyes and ears in the community."
On Tuesday the Pepperell Police Department received a report of a suspicious gray or silver sedan, possibly a Toyota Prius, which was seen taking photographs in the same area that some children were playing on Monday. The reporting party advised us that the children did not think the man in the silver car was taking pictures of them, but of the landscape and houses in a newer housing development in Pepperell. There had been incidents of suspicious activity in Pepperell and neighboring towns involving a small gray or silver sedan over the past several months, including a report of a man in a silver Toyota Prius approaching a student at a bus stop in Townsend in January 2014.
After a conversation between police and school personnel on Tuesday, our school district sent out a ConnectEd message regarding this activity. Since that message went out, the police department has received several reports of suspicious gray vehicles dating back several weeks.
There have been a couple of reports that have been investigated, generating explanations for the activity. One such confirmation involves a local newspaper person who uses a gray Toyota Prius with Massachusetts registration plates to make deliveries. Also, a surveyor involved with the Tennessee Pipeline Project had been in the area surveying land. Chief Scott spoke with this subject yesterday. He had been in the area a few weeks ago doing his work while driving a gray Honda Accord with New Hampshire registration plates. Police have also found that some calls involving people in vehicles taking pictures are found to be real estate appraisers taking pictures of homes that are for sale or have recently sold.
Although police now believe that some of the reports of suspicious gray vehicles that Pepperell Police have received were legitimate business people performing their work, they ask that residents stay vigilant.
"It is always a good idea to remain present at the bus stop with schoolchildren and continue to call us whenever you see something or someone that appears to be suspicious," Chief Scott said.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Pepperell Police Department at 978-433-2424.