Law enforcement is investigating three reports of strangers trying to lure elementary school students into a vehicle as they walked home from school or their bus stop this week.
All the incidents involved a gray vehicle and all the students attend Fairview Elementary School in southwest Modesto, according to Modesto City Schools spokeswoman Linda Mumma Solorio.
She said the first incident occurred Monday but was not reported by the student until Tuesday. A man in a gray car approached two students at a bus stop on Vivian and Poland roads and offered them candy. The students ran away and told their families.
The district received two more reports on Wednesday with a similar car description.
One report was of a woman in a gray BMW who approached a student near Fairview Park and claimed to know the student’s mother. She offered the student a ride but the student ran away.
Next, at Rancho Encantado Court and San Ramos, a man in a gray car offered to give a student a ride and told the student it’s dangerous to cross the street alone, Mumma Solorio said. A parent who was nearby intervened when they saw the man talking to the student.
Mumma Solorio said the involved students are boys and girls and of a variety of ages and grades.
“The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority,” Mumma Solorio said. “After each report, school administrators immediately contacted the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office and Modesto Police Department. In response, law enforcement officers and district safety officers have been patrolling the area.”
A student at Savage Middle School reported being approached by a stranger on Monday but that turned out to be a misunderstanding, according to Modesto Police Lt. Martha Delgado.
The Sheriff’s Office said it would be providing extra patrols near Fairview and other nearby schools and advised parents to speak to their children about safety.
Parents should advise children to walk in pairs, avoid walking through secluded areas and never get into a stranger’s car. If approached by someone who makes them feel uncomfortable, children should run away and find the nearest adult they trust or call 911 if they have a cellphone.