Webster Groves School District and Police warn parents about suspicious car

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WEBSTER GROVES, MO (KPLR) - An alert for parents in Webster Groves:  both police and the school superintendent have put out notices about a man in a silver car following a girl as she walked to Webster Groves High School, Tuesday morning.

Both released photos from a surveillance camera of the suspicious vehicle in front of the school.

The driver apparently followed the girl right up to the school steps.

The car passed a girl several times, then circled back and followed her as she walked to the school, the message from police said.  It went on for about 12 blocks.

An email to parents from Webster Groves Schools Superintendent Sarah Riss detailed the girl’s account:

"...a man in a silver Chrysler 300 followed a girl from Holland avenue to the high school. He did not speak to her... He began following the student at about 8 am.  We encourage parents to support our efforts by continuing to talk to your children about safety walking to and from school."

“I would definitely tell her if someone pulls up beside or he follows her, you pick up your speed.  Don’t walk slow, don’t look back, like you don’t see them…and you hurry,” said mother, Linda Matiella-Lawrence.

“[My daughter] might need to change up her routes, maybe even go to talk to a family that she knows on her walking route if she’s afraid,” said mother, Marsha Vedova.

Parents are stressing that their children report anything that seems suspicious.

“Tell me everything,” father Jim Patterson said.  “They even know to try to get license plates and everything like that; be aware of the surroundings and take note of anything that’s out of the ordinary.”

“I think it’s better to report it, even if it’s nothing, than to overlook it because it might be saving somebody’s life,” Vedova said.

The driver is described as a light-skinned, African American male, possibly in his 30's, wearing a white or gray golf hat.

If you have any information about him or the car, call Webster Groves Police at 314-645-3000.