June 2, 2014 5:30 pm

Parents warned of ‘suspicious’ activity near some Toronto schools

TORONTO – Parents from a number of elementary schools in Toronto might be holding their kids a little closer tonight.

Letters have been sent home from Glenview Senior Public School and others in the area of Yonge Street and Lawrence Ave. West warning of “suspicious” activity.

“It’s definately unnerving,” Kathy Clark, a mother of three young children, said. “You don’t want to be (so) nervous that your kids are a few feet behind you (and) you always have to be watching them.”

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In one case, someone in a car had approached a student while he was heading home during the lunch hour.

The student did not speak to the person and told his parents when he arrived home.

Two similar incidents were reported at the same school at the beginning of May.

“We’ll send [a letter] home to the school in the immediate area of that incident,” said Ryan Bird, spokesperson for the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). “Depending on the issue, we can send it home to multiple schools in that general area.”

Police are also investigating two separate cases near Yonge Street and Roxborough Street that may be related.

On May 16 a group of young girls was approached by an unknown man.

When one of the girls dropped something, he reached down to pick it up and began “leering” at her before leaving.

Two weeks later, a couple of young girls were also approached by an unknown man in a store before being asked to leave.

He then approached another girl in the parking lot before she was advised to leave by someone else passing by.

“We definitely keep track of all kinds of instances,” said Toronto Police Const. David Hopkinson. “It’s difficult to quantify one specific incident versus another. The complexity makes them all different.”

In the case of a letter being sent home from school, the TDSB and Toronto Police offer “streetproofing” tips to help children in the case of suspicious activity.

Some of the suggestions encourage children to: keep others informed about where they are at all times, never approach or enter a stranger’s car and to never travel or play alone.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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