There have been several attempted child luring incidents in recent months in Cumberland County which has prompted Shippensburg school officials and State Police to take action so they don’t keep happening. They paired up Tuesday night and held an informational meeting at Shippensburg Middle School for parents.
State Police Trooper Angel Garcia said the recent incidents involved girls ages 10 and 14, as they walked alone.
“These are predators they pray on the weak,” said Trooper Garcia.
The first attempt happened in March. Police said a man approached a girl alone at her bus stop on Cortland Circle. Then in April something similar happened to a girl walking alone in a restaurant parking lot on West King Street. Both girls made it to school safely, but police haven't caught any suspects.
"We as a district and State Police have increased our patrols at the bus stops, and we think it's important to keep the community involved," said Scott Shapiro, assistant principal at Shippensburg Area Middle School.
Trooper Garcia said most predators will approach children who are alone, and stressed with warmer weather that kids have a buddy at all times.
"Eliminate any opportunity a bad guy has to your children," said Trooper Garcia, who also talked the importance of parents teaching their children who to ask for help. "Instead of saying all strangers are bad, give them good examples of people they can get help from."
Kira Cramer said the incidents are concerning enough that she attended to get tips to keep her six-year-old son safe.
"It hits home for a lot of people because we are in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, and this is a town known to be a safe community-oriented place," said Cramer. "He's only in kindergarten now and his routine is relatively safe. He doesn't have to be alone at all but he will."
State Police and guidance counselors will continue working with Shippensburg School District students, and teaching them safety precautions, throughout May and June.
For more tips from State Police to protect your children from predators click here.