NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police in Bayswater, Queens are trying to track down a man they believe was trying to lure children into his car.
As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, police said the driver of an older model black Nissan Altima is wanted for questioning in a pair of attempted kidnappings.
The apparent targets were an 11-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl.
“This is a very, very bold person and we worry about what his intentions were,” said Jason Shtundel, with Rockaway Citizens Safety Patrol.
Shtundel said his group provided NYPD detectives with video of the suspect’s car.
The 11-year-old boy told police the driver was dark-skinned and wore a black and red baseball cap.
The boy said the man pulled over alongside him near the intersection of Mott Avenue and Bay 24th Street Saturday afternoon and demanded he get in, Carlin reported.
The boy said he immediately ran to a neighbor’s house and police were called.
The incident happened near the home of Shamika Santiago and her young daughter.
“I never let her walk alone anyway. She’s 12 years old and I still don’t let her walk by herself just because of reasons like that,” she said.
Community activists say they learned a man matching the description from the first case and driving what is believed to be the same car, approached a young girl just a few blocks away on the same afternoon, Carlin reported. She too ran away.
“The victim was brave enough to take off,” Shtundel said.
Child safety experts say children should travel in groups or pairs when possible and avoid using headphones because they’re distracting.
“The community is on the lookout for this vehicle. And we urge anyone who has any information who this individual is to come forward. The police would like to talk to that individual,” Shtundel said.
Detectives are checking the footage from other nearby surveillance cameras hoping to find clear views of the driver and license plate.