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Parents On Edge After Stranger Incident

March 7, 2012, 6:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Parents On Edge After Stranger Incident
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Sioux Falls Police are keeping a close eye on elementary schools after another report of a suspicious man trying to lure kids into his vehicle.

This is the third similar incident within a week; all have been near elementary schools.  The first one was near Discovery.  The second was near Lowell.  Now this one near Horace Mann was reported by three kids.  Authorities are taking each report seriously and are urging parents to have a talk with their kids.

Police are on high alert at neighborhood schools following a third incident of a suspicious man who has been trying to lure kids into his vehicle.  Parents who were picking up their kids Wednesday at Horace Mann are uneasy.

"I was just concerned because it seems to be the same person that keeps coming trying to get a different school, a different school and a different school; it's just scary," Julie Loss said.

"It's very scary to me.  I didn't even realize it happened here.  But, I have talked to my kids about it so, I believe they would know what to do," Jami Traen said. 

The suspicious man who was reported by kids at Discovery Elementary and Lowell Elementary has a similar description to the most recent man.  But the vehicle descriptions don't match.

"The big work is on our end is to figure out if these are related or if they are separate incidents," Sioux Falls Police Public Information Officer Sam Clemens said.

But until they figure that out, they are asking parents to have the stranger danger talk with their kids.

"They did the right thing when they were approached by a stranger. They didn't stop; they continued on their way and reported it to an adult.  And that's what we want.  Most parents probably have had this conversation with their kids, but it's a good reminder to talk to them anyway," Clemens said.

Parents we talked with say they will. 

"You tell them they don't know everybody, it's okay to say 'hi' to someone, but you don't do anything else," Loss said.

The description of the latest man is a white male 50-60 years old with gray hair.  This time he was in a white SUV. The other two incidents the man was driving a black car one time and a white vehicle the second time.

The mother of the three kids who reported this most recent incident told KELOLAND News she was too shook up by this that she didn't want to do an on camera interview.  But she told us her kids were so scared they could hardly talk about it and stayed inside all day after school.

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