NewsPhoenix Metro NewsCentral Phoenix News


Strangers trying to lure kids near Phoenix school

Westwood Primary Elementary School
Posted at 9:32 PM, Apr 16, 2019

PHOENIX, AZ — Parents are on alert after three separate incidents involving strangers targeting kids who go to Westwood Elementary School in Phoenix.

The school has sent three separate letters home to parents since March 27. Each letter describes a different man and a different car.

“Some of these people will do anything to try to get to our children," said Alhambra Elementary School District spokesperson Linda Jeffries. “All three of these incidents appear to be different situations and all appear to be different individuals," she added.

Two incidents involved a man trying to lure a student into his car. In another situation, a family said a man knocked on their door claiming to be a teacher and asked to escort their daughter to school.

“Teachers do not come to households to take children to school," said Jeffries.

Jeffries says both the school district and families of each of the three students have filed reports with Phoenix police, but school officials want parents to talk to their kids about what to do, and not to do, if faced with a similar situation.

Many families have changed their daily routine. "I told her, 'you will keep walking home and we will escort you until the authorities catch this guy,'" said Gilbert Yandy, father to a 10-year-old girl.

District officials say if anyone approaches a student or their home, pretending to work for the school - "You need to ask questions, you need to ask a name, you need to ask for school identification," said Jeffries.

School officials provided specific details for parents to be on the lookout for:

The first man reported on March 27 was wearing black gloves with red palms, driving a two-door tan car with a black grill, according to the student who was approached.

The second man who claimed to be a teacher was seen on April 15. The family approached described him as tall, chubby, dark-skinned, with a beard, glasses and speaking Spanish.

The third man seen Tuesday, April 16, was reported as an Asian male in his early 30s, driving a white truck with the word "royal" written on the back of the truck.