Both Incidents Happened Near George Washington Middle School, Police Say

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police in Ridgewood, N.J. this weekend were searching for suspects in two separate luring incidents involving schoolchildren.

The first incident happened on Friday, Oct. 25, around 5 p.m. Two students were walking west on Godwin Avenue near Garfield Place near the George Washington Middle School in Ridgewood when an older-model four-door blue sedan pulled up behind them, police said. A man between the ages of 60 and 70 had his passenger window open as he yelled out at them, police said.

The students said the man said, “Hey girls, do you want to…” at which point they got scared and ran off through a yard, police said.

The man was described as having thick gold glasses with large frames; a short, scruffy beard; and balding hair, police said. His car had rust on the exterior, and black tape on the seats inside, police said.

The second incident happened a week later, around 3 p.m. this past Friday, in the area of Sheridan Terrace a short distance away from the first scene. A student reported she was approached by a man in his 50s or 60s who grabbed her.

The student broke free and ran for help, police said.

The suspect in that case was described as white, about 6 feet 2 inches tall and heavyset. He had gray or light-colored wavy hair of medium length, and was wearing jeans and a gray or greenish T-shirt with stains on it, along with dark sunglasses, police said.

Ridgewood police and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s office were investigating both incidents, which are not believed to be related. Police patrols have been increased around schools, and police advised parents to teach their children to watch out for strangers.

Any child approached by a stranger is advised never to engage him or her in conversation, and run away to a safe location while yelling for help. Parents and teachers were advised to be extra-vigilant, and report any suspicious incidents to police by calling 911 or (201) 652-3900.

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