NATOMAS (CBS13) — Neighbors spotted a suspicious white van with the words “Free Candy” painted in red driving around Natomas.

It’s something you would see on Halloween, and it had nervous parents hoping it was just a trick and not really offering treats to children.

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Lawrence Bellow, 12, snapped a photo on his cellphone of the suspicious van parked outside his home.

free candy

“It looked too fake to be true, but I didn’t want to get a closer look for sure,” he said. “I was kind of nervous about it; I didn’t know what was going on so I just wanted to get evidence in case anything happened.”

He had a gut feeling the white van with blacked out windows and no license plate could be trouble.

His mother first noticed it at Walmart yesterday, then came home to find it parked on her street.

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“It had handprints in red and it almost looked like—I think it was supposed to look like blood honestly; it just looked like the handprints were dripping down,” she said. “It just felt like they were trying to track kids and it just gave me a creepy feeling.”

free candy 2

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Other concerned neighbors snapped photos of the van driving around; one shows it alongside a school bus.

Word about the van quickly started spreading on, so CBS13 went to get answers.

It turns out the van belongs to a man on his way to the annual Burning Man festival in Nevada. He was parked in front of the home of a family friend

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“It was a joke,” said Sierra, who lives in the home.

Sierra says her family didn’t realize it would cause so much concern.

“It’s nice to know that if was there actually a creepy white van around that people would be taking notice of that,” she said.

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The van has since left the area.