Charlotte, NC - CMPD has reported two recent incidents of suspects attempting to lure children into vehicles near bus stops.
Officers are posting up at the two locations to keep an eye on the children dropped off.
Less than a week ago a 10 and 8-year-old boy were walking home from their bus stop near the 4700 block of Hidden Valley Road when a burgundy SUV approached them with a man and woman inside, offering candy and a ride. The boy ran for safety and the subjects drove off, according to CMPD.
Tuesday fifteen minutes from the same location at the 1100 block of Wilann Drive a 16-year-old girl was called to a nearby car and when she refused a ride the man tried to grab her and pull her inside. She was able to escape and man drove off.
CMPD doesn't believe the incidents are related but is taking this opportunity to get the message out by posting up at the bus stops.
No arrests have been made at this time. The suspect from Tuesday is described as a 45-year-old bald male with a chipped tooth driving a bright red Infiniti. Anyone with information concerning these cases or the suspect is asked to immediately call 911 or contact Crime Stoppers at 704.334.1600.
CMPD advises parents to instruct their children to remember these safety tips:
- Instruct your child to never take a ride from any strangers even if the person says that they are there to pick them up because their mom or dad sent them.
- Instruct your child on how to contact the Police Department, Fire Department or Ambulance by dialing 911 and how to contact a known family member or responsible trustworthy neighbor or adult should an emergency arise.
- Check your child's route to and from school. Call attention to any dangerous spots such as vacant lots, alleyways, etc. Advise them what to do if a strange person follows or approaches them.
- Instruct your child's school to notify you immediately if your child is absent. Inform the principal who is authorized to pick your child up from school. Try to have the same person pick your child up every day when possible.
- Choose a secret code word to use with your child in case of an emergency. Tell your child never to go with anyone who does not know this code word.
- Advise your child what to do if they feel lost. Help them to identify the safest place to go or person to ask for help in reuniting them with you or other caregiver. Examples of safe helpers could be a uniformed law-enforcement or security officer, store salesperson with a nametag, person with a nametag who is working at the information booth.