PARMA HEIGHTS– Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is reminding parents to talk to their children about how to respond if approached by a suspicious person.
DeWine is making the suggestion after the discovery of several similar incidents of child enticement and attempted abductions happening in Ohio, West Virginia and Michigan.
One case happened on Feb. 8 in Parma Heights where a man tried to entice a 14-year-old girl. Police say he tried to convince her to get into his white van and made lewd comments to her.
“Our agents are working right now to determine if these cases are connected, but regardless of whether these crimes are being committed by one person or multiple offenders it is a very serious situation,” said Attorney General DeWine.
DeWine is advising parents to walk to and from school with their children or arrange for them to walk with friends and to know the route their children take to and from school.
The incidents have happened in the past several months and weeks.
In each case, the suspect has approached girls and boys between the ages of nine and 15 while driving a white, windowless panel van, which could be a commercial vehicle. The driver has then encouraged the kids to talk with him and get into the van.
At the time of each incident, the children had all been walking home after school.
“Luckily none of these children gave in to these attempts,” said Attorney General DeWine. “They knew exactly what to do.”
The suspect is described as:
• White Male
• Mid to late 40s or early 50s
• 5’8″ – 5’9″
• Brown hair
• Possible mustache
• Wearing a baseball hat with glasses or sunglasses
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office says anyone involved in a situation of this nature should contact local police or BCI at 855-BCI-OHIO.