21 Aug 2014
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Franklin Lakes Superintendent Warns of Nearby Luring Attempt in Gold Pick-Up

Superintendent says a man threatened two girls who refused to get in his pick-up truck in Ramsey.

Franklin Lakes Superintendent Warns of Nearby Luring Attempt in Gold Pick-Up
The Franklin Lakes School District Superintendent sent a note to parents Friday afternoon warning them of a nearby child luring attempt, and giving some tips on how to keep children safe.

In the constant contact communication, Superintendent Frank Romano said two teen girls were crossing Main Street in Ramsey when a man pulled up in a pick-up beside them and told them to get in the bed of his pick-up truck.

When they kept walking, he "made a motion with his hand as if to slit their throats and stated, 'You're dead' while pointing to the back of the pickup," Romano said in the email to parents.

When the girls ran to someone nearby, the man parked the car on the side of the road, then fled the scene, Romano said. Police were unable to locate his car, but it's described as an old, gold pick-up with yellow New Jersey plates and a blue igloo cooler with a white top in the bed, Romano said.

The suspect was described as a Hispanic male, in his 30s or 40s, with bushy hair and a thick accent, Romano said. He was wearing a black sweatshirt with a hood and drawstrings hanging from the shoulders, Romano said.  

Police could not be reached Saturday morning to comment.

"Although we have not experienced luring incidents in Franklin Lakes during this school year, I encourage you, once again, to take regular steps with your children and maintain lines of communication regarding basic safety tips," Romano said in the email. 

"Repetition and reinforcement are critical, especially with young children."  

Romano sent out the following tips from the  National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
  1. Teach your children to always TAKE A FRIEND with them when walking or biking, and stay with a group while standing at the bus stop. Make sure they know which bus to ride.
  2. Walk the route to and from school with your children, pointing out landmarks and safe places to go if they're being followed or need help. Teach your children that they should NEVER TAKE SHORTCUTS and always stay in well-lit areas.
  3. It is not safe for young children to walk to and from school, even in a group. Parents should always provide supervision for young children to help ensure their safe arrival to and from school. If your children wait for a bus, wait with them or make arrangements for supervision at the bus stop.
  4. Teach your children that if anyone bothers them or makes them feel scared or uncomfortable to trust their feelings and immediately get away from that person. Teach them it is ok not to be polite and IT IS OK TO SAY NO.
  5. Teach your children that if anyone tries to take them somewhere, they should RESIST by kicking and screaming, try to run away andDRAW ATTENTION by kicking and screaming, "This person is trying to take me away" or "This person is not my father/mother."
  6. Teach your children NOT TO ACCEPT A RIDE from anyone unless you have said it is ok in that instance. If anyone follows them in a vehicle, they should turn around, go in the other direction, and run to a trusted adult who may help them.
  7. Teach your children that grownups should NOT ASK CHILDREN FOR DIRECTIONS; they should ask other adults.
  8. Teach your children to NEVER ACCEPT MONEY OR GIFTS from anyone unless you have told them it is ok to accept in each instance.
  9. Make sure that the school has current and accurate emergency contact information on file for your children and confirm names of those authorized.
  10. Always know where your children will be. Teach your children to always CHECK FIRST before changing their plans before or after school. Teach your children to never leave school with anyone, unless they CHECK FIRST with you or another trusted adult, even if someone tells them that it is an emergency.
Romano also said any similar incident in the borough should be immediately reported to police, and then he would inform the community about any other child luring attempts.

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