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Reports of white minivans, turns up nothing

Baxter and Brainerd police departments have fielded a dozen calls each since releasing the news Tuesday about a suspicious white male driving a white minivan and verbally approaching six Forestview Middle School students, but as of yet have turned up no firm leads, officials reported Wednesday.

Baxter Police Chief Jim Exsted Exsted said his department will continue to investigate and he continues to encourage the public to call with any additional information on the incident.

“Many officers were out this morning in both marked and unmarked squads in both Baxter and Brainerd and we observed nothing as well,” said Exsted.

Police are searching for a minivan described as an early 2000 model that is white with dark trim and luggage racks. A man driving this minivan approached middle school students at two separate locations on Tuesday. Around 8 a.m. two Forestview students, a male and a female, reported that they were approached by a white minivan near Mapleton Road. Exsted said the driver of the van yelled something at the two juveniles, followed them from one parking area to another and then left the area when approached by a teacher. Exsted said the van first approached the students near Mapleton Road, drove to the overflow parking lot between the athletic fields and then left through the south entrance.

While investigating the incident, Baxter police learned that a similar incident occurred at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday in Brainerd. This incident wasn’t reported to law enforcement but a white male in a white van approached four Forestview students asking them if they needed a ride while they were waiting for a bus near the intersection of College Drive and Southwest Fourth Street in Brainerd.

Anyone with additional information regarding either of these incidents are asked to contact Baxter police at 454-5090 or Brainerd police at 829-2805.

Baxter and Brainerd police are investigating the two incidents as they are connected.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at or 855-5851. Follow me on Twitter at