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Police Caution Parents After Children Say Man Approached Them

Two recent incidents of attempted child luring prompts Chief Papapietro to caution parents.

In light of the recent incidents of attempted luring reported in Maywood and Oradell, Police Chief Frank Papapietro is advising residents to immediately call 9-1-1 if they witness any attempted luring in progress. 

Papapietro said that vehicle descriptions and license plate information are critical pieces of information.

"If a suspect is observed, descriptions such as heavy acne, scars or tattoos are valuable identifiers as they cannot be quickly altered," Papapietro said. "Clothing descriptions such as printed logos or sayings on exterior clothing can also be valuable."

According to police, the first incident, reported in Maywood on October 6, involved an eight-year old girl who was allegedly approached by an older white male while playing in the front yard of her grandparent's house. According to police, the girl reported that the man invited her to go to his house to see his puppies. The girl fled into her grandparent's house. Police describe the male, reported to be between 50 and 60 years old, as having salt and pepper hair and wearing a blue shirt, black tie and dark pants.

The second incident that occurred Tuesday in Oradell involved a seven-year old girl reportedly being approached by an unknown white male outside of her home.

According to police, the child was playing outside with a younger brother when an older white male with grey, balding hair, wearing a button-down shirt and black pants exited a small grey car and approached the two siblings. Both children ran inside their home and informed a parent, but the unknown man was gone by time their mother returned outside.

Papapietro sent a letter he received from Detective Sergeant William Wicker of the Oradell Police Department detailing the two incidents to Superintendent Michael Polizzi to disemminate to parents.

Papapietro advises parents not to display their children's name on clothing or backpacks because children may initially trust a person who calls them by name.

"Clothing or backpacks displaying their name could offer an opening for a predator to begin a conversation," Papapietro warned.  

He also wants parents to teach their children that if they are approached by a stranger it is okay to scream and run away.

"The manners we try to instill in our children do not apply in these situations, and predators do not like the attention," Papapietro said.

"Most of all, tell them never to get in a vehicle with someone they do not know," he stressed.

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