WILKES-BARRE — A school district in Luzerne County is increasing security presence after a reported case of child luring.
Officials in the Wilkes-Barre Area School district not only increased patrols, they also sent a letter home with students from GAR High School and nearby Dodson Elementary after the attempted luring incident happened earlier.
Officials and parents are now encouraging the children to be cautious around school grounds.
Resource officers are on high alert outside GAR High School in the heights section of Wilkes-Barre, where just a few blocks away a man allegedly attempted to lure a 15-year-old girl into his car.
It happened just before 7 a.m. Tuesday when the girl was walking to school at GAR.
“I’m shocked. It’s unbelievable. My daughter goes and you know, could be out here at that time,” said Tracie Colorusso.
According to Wilkes-Barre police the girl was walking near Anthracite Street when a man she didn’t know pulled over and asked her if she spoke Spanish. The girl told police he then offered her a ride. She refused and kept walking to school along South Sherman Street.
The girl told police that the man parked in a church parking lot while she called her mother. He then followed her for a bit until finally he got back in his car and took off down Stanton Street.
The girl was fine. Her mother picked her up and took her home.
Police are looking for the man while the school district sent letters home with students at GAR and nearby Dodson Elementary school.
“We became involved in the situation because it’s one of our children, and we want to be proactive in regard to the safety of all our kids, door to door,” said Wilkes-Barra Area Superintendent Bernard Prevuznak.
In the letter, the district suggests that children should be aware of their surroundings, to walk to school with friends, and to keep cell phones with them so they can call 911 if necessary.
“If they can get license numbers, it’s most beneficial. If they have access to a cell phone, they can call 911 and report it.”
Parents of students at GAR say they hope the extra patrols will help.
“It’s getting a lot worse around here with the fights, with people trying to pick your children up. It really has changed. The heights is not what it used to be,” Colorusso said.
The added patrols will continue through the week at GAR and Dodson Elementary.
Police are looking for a man described as about 5 foot 3, thin, in his thirties driving a gray Honda, possibly a Civic.
If you have information, you’re asked to call the Wilkes-Barre police department at (570) 208-4200.