MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Officials in Westchester County are urging caution after police say there have been three separate instances of predatory acts against children in recent days.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino is encouraging kids to be alert.
“Get loud, yell ‘stranger,'” he said Friday. “If anyone ever grabs you, yell and fight. Drop to the ground or grab another object like a telephone pole to make it harder for somebody to get you into a car. Kick, bite, scream — make as much noise as you can.”
The warning comes as Rye police are searching for a man who they said lured two girls over to him at a playground while masturbating in his car on Monday.
In Mount Kisco, police are looking for a man with gray hair and driving a dark, four door sedan who they say targeted two preteens on Wednesday.
The first incident happened on Langeland Drive. A 12-year-old girl was looking out her window when police said she saw him motioning for her to get into the car, but she refused.
“She’s a very smart little girl and I’m very happy nothing happened,” said neighbor Valentina Cardile.
One hour later, police said an 11-year-old girl walking home on Grove Street reported being approached by a man fitting a similar description following her and calling out to her from the car window. She ran home where her mother called police.
“What we say every night to our kids is make the right decision and this would fall into that category,” Astorino said.
In each case, the girls were unharmed, but while the suspects are still out on the street, parents and neighbors are doing their part along with police.
“I’ve seen the police here, observing a little bit,” said Mount Kisco resident Frank Pierangelo. “I’m out here and I’m doing a little scoping myself.”
Police say extra patrol units are out around schools and places where children congregate.