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String of attempted child lurings in New Jersey

October 16, 2012 9:14:36 AM PDT
The search is on for an apparent sexual predator who is trying to coax children into a car in northern New Jersey.

Lyndhurst police were talking to a man Monday night, but he was released after the two kids who reported one of the incidents admitted they lied.

Still, investigators are serious about four other incidents in Bergen and Passaic counties in the past week.

The two boys who claimed a man tried to lure them into his van Monday reportedly made it up because their parents had warned them to beware. And while that incident may have been a figment of the boys' imaginations, police say the others are, unfortunately, all too real.

"I've never seen like this before," Maywood police Chief David Pegg said. "It's strange that so much has happened."

The first incident happened in Maywood on October 6, in which an 8-year-old girl said a man wearing a shirt and tie told her he would take her to see some puppies. Then last Tuesday, a man fitting the same description reportedly approached a 7-year-old girl and her brother as they played outside of their home in Oradell.

Then on Friday, a man in a Jeep Wrangler asked an 11-year boy to get into his car. The most brazen incident happened in Hawthorne Friday, when a 13-year-old girl claimed she had just left a soccer game when a man in a hooded sweatshirt grabbed her by the arm and tried to force her into a parking lot.

All of the children are okay, but police are trying to determine if the same person is responsible for all the incidents. They are also determined to get that person or people off the street and send a message to children.

"If you're ever grabbed, if you're ever touched by anybody, scream, yell and run," Pegg said.

In the Hawthorne, police say the teenage girl did not get a good look at the man's face. No witnesses have come forward.

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