MONTVALE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Parents in two New Jersey towns are on alert. Police are warning families in two communities to be on the lookout for a predator that is using money to try and lure young girls into an SUV.
In Montvale, police have stepped up patrols near schools and parents are on edge, reports CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.READ MORE: 2 Passengers Ejected From Car, Killed In North New Hyde Park Crash
“It takes one second for a person to grab you and put you in a car and be done. It’s very scary as a parent,” Lonnie Pellecchia said.
Police said a man tried to lure an 11-year-old girl into a black SUV in this suburban town as she walked home from the Fieldstone Middle School on Monday.
“Offered her money … a thousand dollars for a sex act,” Montvale Police Chief Jeremy Abrams said.
Investigators said the girl screamed and ran away. Police were immediately notified. There was a similar incident two weeks ago several towns over Allendale, where a man also in a black SUV – or truck – reportedly preyed on two 10-year-old girls leaving the Brookside Middle School, offering them a thousand bucks, too.
Police believe it’s the same suspect. The whole ordeal has got parents in both towns terrified.
“I am going to keep a very close eye on my daughter at this age, seventh grade. I thought I could give her a little independence, but after hearing this I am going to keep her close to me and keep her safe,” Montvale parent Donna Decandido said.READ MORE: Dr. Fauci Says He 'Would Not Be Surprised' If Omicron COVID Variant Is Already In US
Her daughter agreed, saying she’s not taking any chances.
“I am not going to walk home from school,” she said.
Alerts have been sent out to other Bergen County towns, with police asking all residents to report any similar incidents and to talk to their children.
“For children to know not to approach vehicles, not to believe the money story … lost puppy story and to stay away from strangers,” Chief Abrams said.
Police have no make or model on the SUV, but they’re asking everyone to be on the lookout.
Police are encouraging parents to teach their children life-saving skills — scream, run away and seek help immediately.MORE NEWS: US Officials: Only A Matter Of Time Before Omicron COVID Variant Found In America
Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.