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Parents in Old Forge are concerned over reports of woman seen videotaping children

Some parents in Old Forge are taking some extra precautions when it comes to their children after receiving an email from the Town of Webb Union Free School District.

Posted: Oct. 12, 2018 6:15 PM

Old Forge, N.Y. - Janis Budds has a 9 year old and a 7 year old who usually walk to the Town of Webb Union Free K-12 School on Route 28 in Old Forge, but on Friday they were driven to school instead, after she says she received an email from the school district on Thursday.

On Thursday, Town of Webb School Principal sent out the following email to parents : "The Town of Webb UFSD has been working with the Town of Webb PD regarding the situation in Johnsburg where a woman was approaching children and taking photos and videos of them recently around their school and in other areas of their community. We have now been made aware that her vehicle has been spotted in our community. It has not directly affected our daily operation, campus, or students but we wanted to make you aware of this. School security and TOW PD are vigilantly watching over school grounds. Please contact the police if you witness this individual engaged in any suspicious activity. Webb and Inlet police departments are both aware of her presence and will continue to be vigilant with patrols in the community."

Budds says she and other parents are just being cautious and she says when it comes your kids she says you can never be too cautious, "Everybody's concerned. I mean some people might think that this might be mass hysteria and things like that, but I think you can never be too cautious."

Town of Webb Police Chief Ronald Johnston says the woman, described as a middle-aged Asian woman, was spotted this past week taking video of children at a number of areas up in Warren County, an hour north of Old Forge, including near a school up in Johnsburg, which canceled all after school activities all of last week just to be safe.

Johnston says her explanation to the authorities was as follows, "She said she was documenting her entire vacation. She was documenting her vacation by photographing by video."

Johnston says before the events up in Warren County took place, that same woman was pulled over in the Old Forge area a week earlier on September 27th for driving erratically. Johnston says she appeared in Town of Webb Court on that appearance ticket on Thursday.

Chief Johnston says the woman drives a white Ford Expedition XL with Texas license plates. He says it's a rental vehicle and the woman is actually from New York City and is believed to be staying in a motel up in Indian Lake. "Everything she’s done is suspicious but it’s not illegal, and we can’t take action against her in any criminal matter but we can certainly take action to try to safeguard our kids. I would ask at this point if people could call police if you see this woman conducting suspicious activity."

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