GROVELAND — Chief Jeffrey T. Gillen reports that the Groveland Police Department has opened a criminal investigation into a report that a resident was followed through a neighborhood by a man in a vehicle.
A Groveland resident reported to police that they had responded on Monday afternoon to an ad on a Groveland community Facebook page where a resident was giving away excess dog food. The resident drove to the house, located approximately one mile from her own home, and picked up the free dog food. As she turned to head back home, she reported to police that a man in a vehicle turned around multiple times in an obvious effort to follow her.
Rather than pull into her own driveway, the resident pulled onto a side street and was confronted by the man who allegedly accused her of suspicious behavior. Another resident emerged from their home and told the man to leave, which he did.
Police have identified the man and have interviewed him.
The investigation remains active and ongoing. A Groveland Police Detective is assigned to the case, and criminal charges may be filed.
Chief Gillen expressed outrage about the situation, which caused a resident to feel unsafe in her own community, and that anyone would ever be made to fear for their safety in Groveland.
“On a personal note, I have lived in this area for my entire life and have been a police officer here for more than 30 years. I have met many of the families in Groveland, including the victim’s family, and watched families grow here. I am deeply disturbed by this situation. The fact that a resident of our town could face accusation and be followed around like a criminal should make everyone stop in their tracks and consider how we treat one another,” Chief Gillen said. “Our job as police officers is to not only keep people safe but also feel safe in Groveland, and we will aggressively investigate this situation and do everything we can do to ensure it is not repeated.”