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  #21  
Old 12 August 2009, 08:28 PM
rayzor127
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Altered Statesman View Post
Around here, men in white vans are more likely to try and sell you a stolen surround sound system or stolen power tools than snatch a kid. Saying that, there was a report the other day in the news of a guy in a van trying to snatch a child not too far from my house.

In Australia, it's usually beige panel vans that child snatchers drive.
Back in the 90's, I actually had a couple of guys in a white van attempt to sell me some stereo speakers while at a red light. This happened on more than one occasion but I never thought the color of the van had anything to do with it. I could never find those guys again though when I did need some new speakers.
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  #22  
Old 12 August 2009, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by James G View Post
I've seen a few people with the user-name 'whitevanman' online. I'm just wondering what various Americans must be thinking. (Or possibly they were American and I had the wrong end of the stick)
"White Van Man" doesn't really have any connotation here, as opposed to the small tradesman definition in the U.K. Most Americans would just assume they own a white van (probably an old classic van, like a VW Bus or Corvair Greenbriar). We also don't have the small, car based panel vans (like Escort or Astra based ones). Although, as mentioned, the typical commercial type of panel van is probably a big Ford or Chevy that came painted white.

-RB
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  #23  
Old 12 August 2009, 11:37 PM
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I was watching an episode of "Forensic Files" last night on the Malvo/Muhammad sniper murders, and part of the story was how witnesses kept reporting a suspicious white van leaving the scenes of the killings.

Of course, it later turns out that Malvo and Muhammad were driving around (and sniping from) a black sedan.

I wonder how much surveillance energy got wasted hunting white vans that were only suspicious because people have been trained by the myth to perceive them as suspicious (after the fact, at least).

--Logoboros
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  #24  
Old 13 August 2009, 06:49 AM
fitz1980 fitz1980 is offline
 
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I used to work in construction and we saw plenty of white vans. Usually company vehicles that belonged to one of the many subcontractors that work on most construction jobs. Plumbers, painters, electricians, elevator guys (that was me) white vans are often the transport of choice. I think because of two things. For a windowless cargo van sitting outside in the sun all day white would be optimal because it reflects sunlight better and doesn't get as hot as a dark one would. Also white is the paint primer color so it's easier to get some local graphic designer to paint a name, logo and phone number for your company on a white van.

Personally I had never even heard the term "kidnapper van" until I dated a rich girl who's mother had major security issues. This girl was often "oh my God, that looks like a kidnapper van" and I had to point out that to my eyes it looked more like a painter's van, complete with paint stained ladders strapped to the roof.
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  #25  
Old 13 August 2009, 07:01 AM
Viliphied Viliphied is offline
 
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Not a white van, but the whole concept of the "kidnapper van" reminds me of the first demotivator I ever saw:

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  #26  
Old 16 October 2009, 02:20 PM
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Default Police visit Tow Law schools to dismiss Facebook rumour

RUMOURS that a white van is trawling a town in an attempt to snatch children off the street has been dismissed by police.

Officers say there is no truth in the claims centred on Tow Law, County Durham, and are visiting the town's two primary schools to reassure worried youngsters and parents.

The rumours originate from an anonymous post on social networking site Facebook.

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/new...sed_by_police/
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  #27  
Old 16 October 2009, 02:41 PM
BenPenguin BenPenguin is offline
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Billion View Post
Somebody apparently attempted to abduct a kid in Wichita, KS about a week ago by luring her near his vehicle with candy. Not a white van, but "a black pickup, possibly a Chevrolet, with red stripes, tinted windows and two large antennas."

http://www.kansas.com/690/story/806238.html
Anybody else think the A-Team has gone a bit underbudget?
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  #28  
Old 16 October 2009, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logoboros View Post
I was watching an episode of "Forensic Files" last night on the Malvo/Muhammad sniper murders, and part of the story was how witnesses kept reporting a suspicious white van leaving the scenes of the killings.

Of course, it later turns out that Malvo and Muhammad were driving around (and sniping from) a black sedan.

I wonder how much surveillance energy got wasted hunting white vans that were only suspicious because people have been trained by the myth to perceive them as suspicious (after the fact, at least).

--Logoboros
Lots. But it was the only info they had to go on & now I suspect it was because there is quite a proliferation of white vans used in the general construction-y type trades around here.

And after living in fear with a target on everyone's back for a month, it was money well spent IMHO.
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  #29  
Old 16 October 2009, 03:19 PM
Insensible Crier Insensible Crier is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
When someone's offering new Arcam kit (or other top-of-the-range name) from the back of a van very cheap, it's very obviously stolen or counterfeit. The Arcam amp I coveted cost more than my entire rack system hi-fi (none of which was a cheapo brand).
Some of the shady people will also try to re-brand cheap crap so that people who don't know any better will think it's the expensive stuff. It's sad what some people will fall for too. "Well if it's in an ARCAM box then it must be an ARCAM! I'll take three please, along with those sunglasses that have Gucci stenciled on the side."
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  #30  
Old 16 October 2009, 04:02 PM
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DawnStorm DawnStorm is offline
 
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Roll eyes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Logoboros View Post
I wonder how much surveillance energy got wasted hunting white vans that were only suspicious because people have been trained by the myth to perceive them as suspicious (after the fact, at least).

--Logoboros

A lot, as in every white van and panel truck was pulled over and the driver questioned.

Dawn--hard to believe that was 7 years ago!--Storm

Last edited by DawnStorm; 16 October 2009 at 04:04 PM. Reason: Correct spelling error.
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  #31  
Old 17 October 2009, 01:20 AM
Assilem Brandywine Assilem Brandywine is offline
 
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Actually, I was walking to the library one day when someone in a white van tried to offer me a ride. I politely said "No thank you." and kept walking. He said "C'mon, I'll give you ride!" I kept walking and said "It's alright, I'm not that far off." (The library was only two blocks away.) When I got to the next street, I found the guy had circled the block, was waiting for me and still insisting I get in with him. I took off running across a nearby parking lot at that point.
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  #32  
Old 17 October 2009, 11:01 PM
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There was also that Duracell commercial with the GPS/child-finder gadget that played on that myth--when the mom realizes her son was out of her sight, she notices a white van driving down the road.
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  #33  
Old 18 October 2009, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DemonWolf View Post
I think that the legend probably arose because it seems that the majority of commercial vans, especially the kind with no windows at all, are most often white. That type of van would also be perfect for staging a kidnapping. Large entryway, windowless cargo area, large enough for the kidnapper to enter with the victim to restrain, etc.
The majority of commercial vans are white, because businesses want to stencil the name and logo on the side, and it comes out better on white, so it's a very popular color for the windowless vans.
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  #34  
Old 19 October 2009, 06:57 AM
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llewtrah llewtrah is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Assilem Brandywine View Post
Actually, I was walking to the library one day when someone in a white van tried to offer me a ride. I politely said "No thank you." and kept walking. He said "C'mon, I'll give you ride!" I kept walking and said "It's alright, I'm not that far off." (The library was only two blocks away.) When I got to the next street, I found the guy had circled the block, was waiting for me and still insisting I get in with him. I took off running across a nearby parking lot at that point.
I'd've called the police (and taken a photo of the van - and maybe switched to camcorder mode to record the harassment).
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  #35  
Old 19 October 2009, 02:51 PM
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I've never heard the term "white van man" before. I don't think it is a commonly used phrase in the US, either with the tradesman or the more sinister meaning.
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  #36  
Old 19 October 2009, 09:07 PM
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Chloe Chloe is online now
 
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My ex used to have a white van. It was called Vanna White.
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  #37  
Old 19 October 2009, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chloe View Post
My ex used to have a white van. It was called Vanna White.
Excellent! My friend Vicki called her big white van Moby Truck. Her next van, also white, is smaller. His name is Junior. As far as I know, my friend Vicki does not lure innocents into her van, not even by offering Junior Mints.
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  #38  
Old 20 October 2009, 03:09 PM
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Default Lost in Translation

Sometimes the Dutch press, when translating from the English "White Van Driver", goes on about those notorious "Caucasian Van Drivers" ...
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  #39  
Old 28 January 2012, 04:03 AM
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Graham2001 Graham2001 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insensible Crier View Post
Some of the shady people will also try to re-brand cheap crap so that people who don't know any better will think it's the expensive stuff. It's sad what some people will fall for too. "Well if it's in an ARCAM box then it must be an ARCAM! I'll take three please, along with those sunglasses that have Gucci stenciled on the side."
Forgive the necropost, but I can remember seeing news stories in the 80's about people in white cars going around urban areas in the UK selling Georgio Amrani (Not a misspelling) watches. Supposedly they told the victims the watches were 'overstock' worth 200 pounds a watch, were being sold for 50 pounds and the actual value was around 5 pounds.
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  #40  
Old 28 January 2012, 02:13 PM
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Auburn Red Auburn Red is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joostik View Post
Sometimes the Dutch press, when translating from the English "White Van Driver", goes on about those notorious "Caucasian Van Drivers" ...
I was unaware that vans had an ethnicity.

I have never heard specifically a white van being used by kidnappers exclusively. Occasionally, I hear about vans in general being used in crimes, and that being portrayed in popular culture. For example in Naked Gun 2 1/2 one of the villains drives a red van. And in The Last Enemy, one of the characters, a rogue sociopathic agent played by Robert Carlyle, drives a blue van. However, when he kidnaps a character and ties him up in his trunk, he uses another vehicle, a cadillac if memory serves so I wonder if they were playing on that.

I wonder if part of the idea of the white van, is that it resembles an ice cream truck and falls into the "accepting candy from strangers" mentality. Also, didn't Ted Bundy drive a van too that was suspiciously spruced up and stripped to commit his crimes? Maybe part of that stigma came from him as well.

I suppose it makes sense, a criminal needs a large vehicle to hide whatever he/she needs and if they get pulled over. There are more places to hide something or someone.
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