NORTHVALE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — In the wake of yet another child luring attempt in northern New Jersey, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office now has its intelligence unit working with police to ramp up patrols to help catch the predators.
“I am looking for suspicious people that might be staring at them, driving slowly, looking at them,” Bergen County police sergeant Jim Smith told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan on Thursday.
Northvale can now count itself among the northern New Jersey towns where more than a dozen child luring attempts have been reported since mid-September.
WCBS 880’s Sean Adams On The Story
Local police departments are working together, even out patrolling the streets in unmarked cars to search for instances of luring.
“I know they are patrolling more carefully and keeping an eye open,” a parent said.
Police are also sharing information in real time, noting that any delay could mean a suspect slipping through their hands.
The latest incident took place on Wednesday afternoon, when an unknown male allegedly offered a ride to four children on Tappan Road. That is near the Rockland County border.
Three girls and one boy kept on walking when the stranger approached.
The man’s description was one that matched several other cases — a white man with short hair in a gray or silver four-door vehicle.
If you know anything about this incident, please contact police at 201-768-5900.
Once again, parents are taking precautions.
“Got my daughters restricted on going out,” one parent told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams. “Walking by themselves on Halloween, I’ll be with them.”
New Milford and Dumont have imposed Halloween and mischief night curfews as a result of the luring attempts.
“We have to make our children more aware of their surroundings,” another parent said. “Anything is possible. If somebody says hello to you, you have to be cautious.”
“On Halloween, I would tell all the children to buddy up with somebody, at least one other person, [and] not go trick or treating by themselves,” Smith told Sloan.
One Bergen County mother said with Halloween around the corner, the spate of luring attempts has her on edge.
“I am a little concerned. I think I have taught my child to not go with strangers,” the woman told Sloan.
Other attempts have occurred in Westwood, Oradell, Bergenfield, Maywood, Washington Township, Ridgewood, Hackensack and Hawthorne.
State Senator and former governor Richard Codey said he is working on legislation that would stiffen penalties against anyone caught trying to lure a child.
Are you in fear for your children in Bergen and Passaic Counties? Please sound off below.