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Police issue safety alert after incidents of strangers approaching kids in Scarborough

Toronto police have charged one of three suspects in a jewelry robbery investigation.
Toronto police have charged one of three suspects in a jewelry robbery investigation. Francis Vachon/The Canadian Press

Toronto Police have issued a safety alert following three incidents of strangers approaching children in Scarborough.

The first incident happened Feb. 10 around 3 p.m., when two 9-year-old boys were walking near Burrows Hall Boulevard and Purvis Crescent.  Const. David Hopkinson told Global News that a vehicle approached the boys and a man tried to get them into the car. The boys refused, ran off and the man fled the scene.

On March 7 around 8.a.m., two 10-year-old boys and a 5-year-old girl were walking in the same Burrows Hall area when a man in a vehicle approached them and tried to get the kids into the car.

Hopkinson said the children refused, but the man persisted and “kept trying to entice them.” The children then ran back to the school where they reported the incident, and the man fled.

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READ MORE: Police issue public safety alert after 2 women sexually assaulted in Scarborough

The latest incident happened Friday at 3:25 p.m., when a 10-year-old girl was walking home from Malvery Junior Public School near Mammoth Hall Trail and Malvern Street. Hopkinson said a man wearing a ski mask and sunglasses got out of his car and started to run after the girl. The girl ran back to the school and advised staff of what had happened.

“We are concerned we have a man or two men who are trying to lure or abduct children in this area,” said Hopkinson. “We are about to head into March Break this week and are expecting children to be out and about.”

“We are warning parents to be extra cautious when they send their kids outside.”

READ MORE: Toronto girl subject of Amber Alert found safe: police

The suspect in the first two incidents is described as being between 35-45 years old with reading glasses. He was wearing a Blue Jays jersey and hat during one of the incidents. THe vehicle is described as a charcoal or dark-grey four-door sedan.

The suspect in the third incident is described as being between 5’8″-6’1″ with a medium build. His vehicle is described as a four-door, charcoal-grey car.

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“The children in these incidents behaved correctly,” said Hopkinson. “We like to see kids walking around in groups rather than alone. In most of these instances, kids were in groups of two or three. We try to teach our kids not to talk to strangers, never to get into a car with a stranger.

“In each instance when they were lured to the cars, they refused and they reported it to an adult, or a teacher, or to the public. And that’s what we warn them to do.”

READ MORE: 2 Toronto men charged, 2 more wanted in kidnapping of woman from home

Hopkinson also said that all of the children involved are OK.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-4200 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).

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