Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating after two boys said a group of men tried luring one of them into their car as they were walking home from school.
The incident happened Tuesday afternoon in the Ironwood Crossing community, near Ocotillo and Ironwood roads. According to the boys’ parents, four men inside a black, four-door car first offered candy to their younger son. The boy ran to his brother, who was walking ahead, and the men reportedly began honking the car and demanding he get inside. Both boys escaped unharmed.
“My wife talked to [our kids] yesterday about using a secret word or telling our kid not to accept candy from strangers,” said Garrett Gabbitas, who has a first-grader attending Legacy Traditional School and was “shocked” to hear about the alleged incident.
“I’m kind of scared to have [my son] walk home from school,” he said.
On Wednesday, the school notified parents about the incident and is reminding students to be aware of their surroundings and travel in groups.
The children reportedly told their parents that the suspects appeared to be white men between their 20’s and 40’s, though MCSO has not provided an official description.
It's unclear if this incident has any relation to a recent case in San Tan Valley where a 10-year-old told police someone tried to lure her into his car. The suspect reportedly fled when he couldn't provide the family "code word."
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is urging anyone with information on this incident to call 602-876-1011.