Police in Southern Maine are urging parents to talk to their kids about safety after a couple of incidents involving suspicious adults.

What Happened?

For parents, this type of investigation is the stuff of nightmares. Portland Police say they have had two reports in the last few days that involved adults allegedly trying to lure school children into their vehicles.

The first case was at approximately 8:45 on Monday morning when a 10-year-old boy was walking on Congress Street in Portland towards the Reiche School. Portland Police say a black male in his 20s or 30s allegedly approached the child and offered him a ride. The boy said "no" and the man drove away in either a light blue or white sedan.

On Wednesday, a 17-year-old student told police that he was walking home from the Wayneflete School on Spring Street when an older white male with a scruffy beard, red coat, and winter beanie hat approached him. Officials say the driver insinuated that he could give the boy a ride, but the teen continued up his nearby driveway and into his home.

How Can Parents Help Their Children Stay Safe?

According to the Portland Police, these two young men handled the situation correctly. They're encouraging parents to talk to their children about how to stay safe. Some of their tips:

  • Never take rides from strangers.
  • Never take rides from people they know unless their parents have permitted them.
  • If someone calls out to the child, approaches them, or makes them uncomfortable, they should get to the nearest adult they trust and tell them what happened.
  • Walk with at least one friend as often as possible.
  • If a stranger follows them on foot, they should get away from them as quickly as possible and, if necessary, run while yelling 'HELP' loudly.
  • If a stranger follows them in a vehicle, they should turn around and go in the other direction.

Have Any Children Been Abducted?

So far, police say they have no reports of any children being abducted. Police are investigating the incidents and urge anyone who thinks they may have information to call 207-874-8575.

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