Police Investigating Two Luring Incidents Near Franklin Middle School
Township police are investigating two luring incidents that occurred in the last two weeks – the latest on Feb. 24 – involving Franklin Middle School students.
Police said the students, a 13-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl, reported to the school’s Resource Officer that they were approached while walking home from school by a man driving a black pick-up truck with tinted windows.
The man, described as being African-American, in his 20s or 30s and wearing facial hair, approached the boy on Feb. 24 while he was walking near the school and asked if he needed a ride, police Lt. Phil Rizzo said in a release on the incidents.
The girl was approached about two weeks ago while she was walking on Franklin Boulevard, according to the release, and was asked by the man if she wanted a free cell phone.
In both cases, the children, who are friends, fled the area, police said. The girl did not report the incident until Feb. 24, police said.
Police Chief Lawrence Roberts said in the release that patrols in the area have been increased, and involve officers from the Patrol Division, Investigative Division, Crime Suppression Unit and Neighborhood Police Team.
“The safety of our community, especially our children is paramount,” Roberts said in the release. “Upon receiving the reports, Investigative Division personnel were assigned to the case. There is an ongoing, active investigation into these incidents.”
“We are in constant communication with school administrators and are utilizing all resources at our disposal to ensure the safety of the students,” Roberts said.
In a letter to parents about the incidents, posted on the school district’s web site Feb. 24, Orvyl Wilson, the district’s director of school management, recommended that parents “have a conversation with your children regarding how to deal with strangers. This incident provides the opportunity for you to talk about personal safety in general and the importance of looking out for the safety of others as well.”
Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact the Franklin Township Police Department at (732) 873-2300.
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