Minneapolis police confirm 5 luring incidents reported in May - KMSP-TV

Minneapolis police confirm 5 luring incidents reported in May

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

Since May 2, police have received five separate reports of luring incidents within the Fifth Precinct in Minneapolis.

MAY 2

The first incident was reported after a 13-year-old girl reported being approached by a man wearing a gray and white winter jacket and light khaki pants while she was walking near 58th Street West and Lyndale Avenue South at about 8:45 a.m.

The girl said the man said "hello" before he tried to block her path. Police say she fled on foot.

Police say the suspect was driving a dirty white or cream cargo van with no rear windows.

MAY 5

Another 13-year-old girl who was walking near the intersection of 36th Street West and Zenith Avenue South reported being approached by three men at about 2:25 p.m.


CRIME ALERT: http://bit.ly/14KaR2e | SUSPECT SKETCH: http://bit.ly/14pnq3p


One of the men grabbed the girl's wrist and told her to be quiet or she would be hurt, but the victim screamed and fled.

Police say no vehicle was involved in that case, and they issued a crime alert in the area after the report was filed.

MAY 13

Passerby noticed a 13-year-old girl walking her dog near the intersection of 41st Street West and Dupont Avenue was being closely followed by a white Toyota Camry with Colorado license plates.

The incident was reported at 6:10 p.m. Police confirm the car's occupants did not try to contact the girl.

MAY 16

Two 13-year-old girls reported a white, older cargo van with chipped paint pulled up alongside them at about 4:30 p.m. near the intersection of 54th Street West and Lyndale Avenue South. One occupant opened the sliding door of the vehicle as if to invite them inside.

Police said the two girls ran away and the people inside the van made no attempt to follow them.

MAY 13-17

Police say a man has been seen loitering in the area of 58th Street West and Wentworth Avenue South. Officers say he may have taken photographs of children.

POLICE RESPONSE

Investigators with the Minneapolis Police Department are still looking into the incidents listed above, and patrol officers are also directing patrol cars, bicycle officers and foot patrols in the affected areas.

Neighboring police departments have also been notified to be aware.

Detectives say it is still too early to tell if the incidents are related due to varying vehicle and suspect descriptions.

Anyone with a similar incident to report is urged to call 911 on any suspicious activity regardless of time delay. Officers will come to a victim's home to speak with them directly and take a report.

SAFETY TIPS FOR FAMILIES

Along with the crime alert, Minneapolis police attached a list of things parents should prepare and discuss with their children to protect personal safety and help with reporting events to the police. Those can be found below:

1. Teach kids how to call for help. Instruct children how to call 911 and help them memorize their home address and phone number, including the area code.

2. Keep an updated file on your child. Create a detailed physical description of your child and a current photograph that can be shared with law enforcement in the event of an emergency. For children under the age of 2, it is recommended to update the information four times a year.

3. Pay close attention to what your child wears. Being able to share such information can help investigators and volunteer searchers -- but police caution against clothing children with items that display their name because children often respond to strangers who address them directly.

4. Create and teach a plan for public separation. If a child becomes separated or lost in a public place, he or she should immediately find a facility employee instead of trying to search for a parent alone.

5. Devise a secret code word for the child and trusted guardians. Instruct the child never to go with anyone who does not know the code word.

6. Keep records of identification information. Include a copy of your child's footprints, fingerprints and dental records.

7. Communicate with school officials. Parents are urged to request they be notified immediately of any absence at school and provide written information to the office about who is authorized to pick up the child from school.

8. Teach children to identify tactics used by abductors. Instruct kids to avoid strangers who attempt to lure them somewhere and urge them to scream "stranger" if they are grabbed because passerby are more likely to respond to those shouts than to "help."

9. Survey the routes your child takes and point out any dangerous sites. Be sure to highlight safe places a child can go to contact authorities and parents if they are being followed.

10. Join or organize a "safe home" neighborhood program. Work with parents and neighbors to find secure homes where your children can go for help in the event of any emergency.

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