Waterloo Regional Police are asking the public to help identify the driver of a white commercial van that was reported following a young girl closely, the second such incident in the region in under a week.

A teen girl in the Preston area of Cambridge reported the van travelling towards her on Wednesday, passing her, turning around and then following her at a low speed, police said. This startled her, and she ran home, police said.

Last Thursday morning, two girls, aged 9 and 11, were followed by what's also described as a white commercial van while walking to school in Kitchener's west end near Fischer-Hallman Road and Highland Road.

There was no direct interaction between the driver and the young girls in either incident, but police say there are several similarities that raise concerns.  

In both incidents, a non-marked white commercial van was seen. The driver of the van was reported to be a white male with a grey or white beard. The age given for the driver of the van ranges from in his 50s to 70s.

Police spokesman Olaf Heinzel said it's too early to say the incidents are linked. But residents should be on the lookout for suspicious behaviour, he said, adding vigilance is the best tactic.

"That is the best line of defense right now, to make sure people are aware, to make sure they don't engage with strangers, to report the incident as soon as they can, and to get the best description they can," he said.

Heinzel said anyone who has information, or has witnessed a similar incident, should contact the police information line at (519) 650-8500 or call Crime Stoppers at (1-800) 222-8477.