Police have responded to four reported cases of people trying to lure children into cars. The most recent happened Wednesday in pleasant hill. As the number of reports increases police are changing their tactics.
“One of the people in the SUV tried to get her into the car by saying they`ll take her home, however she was at the park with her parents who were watching a ball game so she told the people in the car no and she ran across the street to her parents,” said Chief Tim Sittig with Prairie Hill Police. Chief Sittig says the 8 year old did the right things when a black SUV approached her in Doanes Park.
“It’s that time of year where schools are letting out the weather is nice, the parks are full,” said Sittig, “For a potential predator, someone out there it`s a pretty good environment for them.”
The pleasant hill police force is now tightening their watch on the neighborhood, although they, and many other metro cities, have been on high alert all month. There have been at least 4 other reported attempts. Waukee had an incident on May 17th. There was no contact made with the children, verbal or otherwise.
“As a parent you do really worry about that. Is it going to be in my neighborhood, is it going to be down my street,” said Officer Mackenzie Sposeto with the Waukee Police.
To minimize the worry and increase safety, Waukee officers have been visiting schools, making more visits to the parks, and making themselves accessible to parents.
Officer Mackenzie Sposeto says since the incident, there has been a significant increase in calls, but she says “nine times out of ten it will be that person that`s lost, a person that`s house hunting, we've had appraisers that have been out that`s common.”
Police say one of the biggest challenges is what to look for. In each situation the suspects have different descriptions and there are different circumstances. Police say they are very impressed with the amount of detail the 8 year girl gave them. She said it was a male and female in their early to mid-forties, driving a black SUV. They do not think the cases are related at this time.