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POLICE: Stay vigilant, not alarmed

August 28, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — In light of recent online rumors of a possible child abduction ring in Whitley County, Columbia City Police Chief Tim Longenbaugh says there's no need for citizens to be alarmed, but to continue to be vigilant, as always.

"As with anything else, if you see anything out of the ordinary, call the police department," Longenbaugh said. "We encourage citizens to report suspicious behavior."

Some say a man with a strong accent is attempting to sell books in Whitley County, and social media sites report the man may be from an national child abduction ring.

"Through research, "I've found that book salesmen are common throughout the U.S.," Longenbaugh said. "I've found conflicting stories on the legitimacy of these claims."

Longenbaugh said there's only one peddler's permit issued in Columbia City currently, and it's not for the sale of children's books.

"You don't have to open the door if you don't feel comfortable," Longenbaugh said.

A man with a russian accent was selling books in Churubusco this morning. He was checked out by the Churubusco Police Department, and released after everything checked out OK. The man had a peddler's permit in the town and was driving a silver 4-door sedan.

The phone number for residents living within the city limits is 244-5121. For residents living outside the city, call the sheriff's department at 244-6410.

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