NEW MILFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Another child luring has been reported in northern New Jersey – this time in Bergenfield – and police in neighboring towns have announced desperate measures to protect children this Halloween.
As CBS 2’s Amy Dardashtian reported, the latest incident occurred Monday evening, when a man reportedly offered a 12-year-old boy money if he would get into a pickup truck.
1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports
In another recent incident, an 8-year-old boy told police he was washing his hands in a Ridgewood restaurant bathroom when a man told him to come with him, according to authorities. The child didn’t and the man left.
And on Saturday, police said a man approached a 12-year-old girl who was sitting alone in a New Milford Dunkin Donuts parking lot. She ran inside to her mother.
Altogether, luring attempts have been reported in at least 10 towns in Bergen and Passaic counties during the past few weeks, also including Westwood, Maywood, Oradell, Hackensack, Hawthorne and Fair Lawn.
But with four different sketches and no suspects, police have expressed fear that a predator could hit the streets in disguise, and use the candy-friendly holiday to tempt children.
“It becomes a target-rich environment if you are a pedophile looking to grab a child,” New Milford police Chief Frank Papapietro said.
Papapietro said his town will be under a mandatory curfew the night before, and the night of, Halloween. Anyone under 18 out after 8 p.m. must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Police in neighboring Dumont have followed suit.
“If you do not comply, a person will be taken into custody, brought into headquarters, and will not be released till someone over the age of 21 — a parent or a guardian — takes them into custody,” Dumont police Chief Brian Venezio said.
But some expressed doubts about the plan — teens in particular.
“Sixteen-year-olds don’t want to be with their parents at 8 o’clock on Halloween,” said Abby Cabreza of New Milford.
The teens were mixed on whether they would obey. One said it was not cool to be walking around with mom and dad.
But all agreed that the creepy man described in the New Milford lurings offering kids a ride is ruining Halloween.
“It’s like a better alternative than being kidnapped,” one resident said. “It’s just too scary. I know kids like to go out and hang out with their friends, but right now you can’t. You can’t trust anybody.”
And while Halloween is typically a night when kids would hit haunted hotspots with their friends, most to whom CBS 2 spoke Tuesday night said they will probably just stay home, hoping for some house parties instead.
At least four other police chiefs in northern New Jersey were considering a Halloween curfew this week.
All of the children and teenagers involved in the attempted lurings managed to escape uninjured.
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