Bardstown Police have obtained a partial surveillance video of a white van suspected in two attempted abductions last weekend.
“It’s a rough, grainy video,” said Capt. Tom Roby. But it does show a van in the lot and shows it leaving.”
With the video, we’re almost sure it’s a Ford, but we can’t call it yet,” said Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin. “We’re almost certain it’s a Ford van.”
The white van and the suspect, who has “salt and pepper” hair and is between 50 to 60 years of age, is also suspected in an attempted abduction of a female Republic Bank employee in the bank’s parking lot on the Gene Snyder near Bardstown Road in Louisville Thursday morning.
“Best we can tell, we believe it’s the same guy,” McCubbin said.
The descriptions of the suspect and the white van match up so concisely that McCubbin said it “would be extremely odd” if it wasn’t the same person suspected in attempted abductions in the Cracker Barrel parking lot in Bardstown.
Police are still waiting on the full surveillance video from another security camera at a different angle to get a clearer picture of the white van in question at Cracker Barrel.
Roby noted that Cracker Barrel’s technician who would provide the video has been out with the flu.
The one minute, 55-second long video, which is posted to the Facebook pages of the Bardstown Police and The Kentucky Standard at facebook.com/ kystandard, shows Cracker Barrel’s parking lot around 3:15 p.m. Saturday –the time of the second attempted abduction.
One minute and 13 seconds in, the white van in question is seen backing out of a parking spot.
Police are also working with Lowe’s to get a copy of its surveillance video. They hope Lowe’s may have picked up something that the Cracker Barrel cameras didn’t.
The videos are a part of an ongoing investigation of two attempted abductions that occurred over the weekend.
Further descriptions indicate the suspect has a coarse voice and is taller than 5’7”. The suspect might be a painter, because witnesses saw a painter’s canvas in the rear of the vehicle. During the other incident, the suspect was wearing a painter’s hat.
Last Friday, a Cracker Barrel employee was walking from Chili’s when an old white van pulled alongside her around 1:30 p.m. A white male with a scruffy beard offered her a ride. The suspect persistently tried to get the woman in the vehicle.
The woman lied and told the suspect the man standing in Lowe’s parking lot was her husband and she didn’t need a ride. After the suspect saw the man, he sped away from the area.
On Saturday, another Cracker Barrel employee was walking to her vehicle in the restaurant’s parking lot shortly after 3 p.m. A white van was parked next to her vehicle. As she walked to her vehicle, the suspect grabbed her by the arms from behind and told her she “was going with him.” She screamed, and an unidentified man in the parking lot told the suspect to “let her go.”
The suspect then fled the area in the white van.
“We don’t think it’s a simple robbery, because of what (the suspect) said to the female he grabbed,”McCubbin said. “We don’t know the motive. It doesn’t matter. He put his hands on somebody and that’s all we need.”
Police have also put out an attempt to locate the white van and suspect, whom they believe is “probably a sexual predator.”
Several white vans have been stopped for questioning, but to no avail. Police said a white van is the most common type of work van in Bardstown.
Police believe the two incidents are related because of the description of the suspect, description of the vehicle and the location of the incidents.
“We have been nonstop literally around the clock,” McCubbin said. “We give a lot of attention to all reports, but we’re putting a few sets of extra eyes on this because we definitely want this guy, because the motive is some sort of sex assault or violence. We want him badly.”
Tips from as far away as Clarksville, Ind., have been called into the police department. Police have followed up on every tip.
“We’re not going to sweep any tip under the rug,” McCubbin said.
If anyone has any information, call Bardstown Police at 502-348-6811 or Nelson County Dispatch at 502-348-3211.