Palm Lake Elem. sends alert after man in white van approaches third-grader

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Some Orange County parents are on edge after getting an Orange Alert from the school district warning them about a stranger in a van who approached a third-grader Wednesday.

WFTV learned this incident could be tied to other recent incidents.

This is the third time in a month that someone has reported a white van approaching children.

Even though the incident happened off school grounds, the school district sent an alert to parents at four nearby schools.

Palm Lake Elementary School Principal Daniel Axtell said a third-grade student walking in the Kensington Park subdivision was approached by a strange man in a van who offered her a ride.

Axtell said the student knew enough to decline and run to safety.

As parents picked up their kids at Palm Lake Elementary Thursday, they were on high alert.

"It's very scary," said parent Joann Hidalgo.

On Saturday, Orlando police got a report that a man in a white van with a yellow ladder may have targeted two kids in Baldwin Park.

The two children were sitting inside a parked car when a man got out of his van, walked toward the kids and stared at them. That's when the children set off their car alarm and ran inside. The man then got back into his van and drove off.

"I can't imagine thinking of my kids being approached by anyone," parent Edward Sullivan said.

Sullivan said the alert message went to his answering machine.

Winter Park resident Renee Woznichak said the incident is alarming and surprising.

A spokesperson for Orange County Sheriff's Office is looking into the incident that happened near the school, but it's too early to say if all the incidents are connected.