Woonsocket police warn parents of luring incident

The first reported incident happened Thursday morning, a middle school student says a man in a maroon van approached her as she walked to her bus stop in the upper Park Ave area of Woonsocket.

Then on Friday morning, police say two elementary school boys reported a similar incident in the same general area of the city.

Both times the students ran away.

Now school officials are asking parents to talk with their children about being vigilant.

One of those parents was Anne-Marie Ferrenti, she told NBC 10 "my kids know about stranger danger, my kids know you don't go with an adult who's unknown, even if they say mom sent me to come get you"

Woonsocket police say that while the two incidents are similar, they don't know for sure yet if they're connected. NBC 10 caught up with Woonsocket's Mayor Leo Fontaine Sunday who said he was aware of the reported incidents and the city is taking action. According to Mayor Fontaine "we're always concerned about that, police have added patrols to make sure we have a good eye on things, so we're encouraging everyone to be vigilant"

Increased patrols are one aspect of fending off would be perpetrators, and increased awareness is another. Parents that NBC 10 spoke with say spreading the word can go a long way.

For its part the school department sent a notice out to parents to be vigilant, have their children walk in groups, and urge them to report any suspicious activity like this right away.