Northland mom says strange woman offering free ice cream to kids causes alarm

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Northland mom trusted her gut and rushed to help, after she said a stranger in an ice cream truck tried to grab her little girl.

Kansas City, Mo., police said it's just one of two creepy incidents that happened this weekend on the same street, with someone in that same truck.

It happened on NE 103rd Street in a quaint neighborhood called Deerfield East, where sunny days often bring the kids out to play and the community’s sense of safety is now shattered.

“I knew instantly without a thought that something was wrong,” said mother Rebecca Gleason.

Gleason said she was in her kitchen and a neighbor was keeping an eye on several kids, including her two little ones, as they played in the yard.

That’s when her son came inside to say a woman was offering his 4-year-old sister free ice cream.

“Free anything out of a van is just not okay,” Gleason said. “So I immediately knew that that wasn`t right and I darted out my front door and there was a woman outside of this ice cream truck within arm’s reach, trying to grab my daughter, saying ‘Oh baby, come here. Come here,’ in a very uncomfortable, awkward way.”

Gleason got to her daughter just in time, and the woman hopped into the ice cream truck, alongside two other passengers, and took off.

“Then that sick feeling,” Gleason said, “knowing, ‘Oh my God! I probably just saved my daughter from being kidnapped.’”

Police said that same woman was reported spooking two other children the same day on the same street, when she continuously rang their door bell, before finally walking inside to take a look around.

“Just that something like that could happen a few houses down,” Gleason said, “even when we're right here, without knowing it, it’s terrifying.”

So now Gleason is sharing her story, in hopes of keeping other families safe.

“It really can happen like that,” Gleason said as she snapped her fingers. “You’re not safe anywhere. Just don`t assume good intent from everybody. You never know where the next bad person is lurking.”

Police canvassed the area but never tracked down that ice cream truck.

Gleason said she didn't catch the name of the ice cream company, but the suspect vehicle looked like a typical white van with ice cream decals and labeled with the No. 20.

She described the woman as a black, slender lady with a shaved head who was wearing a bright pink T-shirt. She said the driver of the van was a man with long, bushy hair. She did not get a good look at the third person, who was riding in the back of the van.

If you know anything about the case, call Crime Stoppers at (816) 474-TIPS.

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