In wake of recent child luring incidents in the nearby communities of Ridgewood, Hawthorne, Maywood and Hackensack, Fair Lawn police are remaining vigilant for suspicious vehicles and individuals in town.
During roll call, officers have been prepped with descriptions of possible cars, people and other relevant details about luring incidents in other towns, as provided by those town's police departments, Sgt. Richard Schultz said.
Police responded to a possible child luring incident on Pine Avenue Tuesday morning, but later determined that it was not likely an actual luring attempt.
A Pine Avenue resident told police that around 8 a.m. he observed a dark Jeep stop near two children who were on their way to school. The children proceeded to run from the vehicle, and the car drove off toward Berkshire Road, Schultz said.
Officers sped to the scene to investigate the suspicious incident but were unable to locate the Jeep, Schultz said.
Police questioned the children, who told them they exchanged no words with the driver -- described as being white, possibly in his 50s and about 5-foot-6 with spiky dark hair -- and they weren't sure whether he had made any gestures for them to approach the vehicle.
The children told police they ran from the vehicle because they were frightened.
Actual luring incident or not, Schultz said it's important for parents to speak with their children about safety.
He said he's made arrangements with district schools to hold Halloween safety talks, hand out glow stick and provide safety tips for kids to follow in stranger danger situations.
Schultz offered the following safety tips for parents to share with their children:
- Parents should discuss predatory lures that are commonly used (asking for assistance, lost pet, bribery, faking an emergency about a family member, etc.).
- Children should be encouraged to travel in groups, to always be aware of their surroundings, and to be ever alert.
- If a child is approached by a stranger they should not engage in conversations or answer any questions and they should never get into a stranger’s car. In fact, children should never get into any car, regardless of who it is WITHOUT prior permission of a parent or guardian.
- If approached by a stranger, children should: a) Drop anything they are carrying that may slow them down; b) Holler and make as much noise or commotion as possible and c) Run to a safe location.
- Report any attempted luring incident by dialing 9-1-1.