Luring Incidents Happened On Thursday And Sunday, Police Say

LEONIA, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A man targeting young girls in Leonia, N.J. has prompted police to step up security.

Leonia police have released a sketch in hopes that they might find the man, following two incidents in the past few days.

In the first incident this past Thursday, a girl was walking home when she saw a man was following her in a black van. The girl turned and walked in the opposite direction, at which the man got out of the van and started asking her inappropriate questions, police said.

The girl quickly walked away and the man left, police said. The suspect was described as a white male in his 40s or 50s, standing about 6 feet tall and skinny with a scraggly beard.

Around 11:45 a.m. Saturday, another girl was walking down Fort Lee Road near Broad Avenue in Leonia, when she saw a dirty, older-model black or blue Chevrolet Tahoe pull up behind her as its driver honked the horn aggressively to get her attention, police said.

The man pulled up alongside the girl and asked her for directions to Overpeck State Park. The girl shrugged her shoulders, but said nothing, police said.

At that point, the man advised the girl, “Why don’t you get into my car and show me where it is?”

The girl ran into a local business to get away from the man, who fled the area west on Fort Lee Road, police said.

The girl said the New Jersey license plate on the man’s vehicle contained a letter W, police said.

She described the suspect as a thin white male in his late 40s, with long, brown, shaggy hair at ear’s length, a big nose, and a scruffy face, police said. He was wearing a gray shirt.

The sketch released Sunday was drawn from the description the girl in the latest incident provided.

Leonia Sketch

A sketch of a man wanted for luring girls in Leonia, N.J. (Credit: Leonia Police)

Leonia police have sent out an alert statewide, and officers in marked and unmarked units will be searching for the suspect, police said.

Police advised parents to tell their children not to stop and approach any vehicles with strangers who talk to them. If children carry a cell phone, parents are advised to make sure it is charged when they leave the house, and to make sure where they are in town in case they have to call 911.

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