Police look for stranger who asked child to approach car

By: Terry Oparka | Online Only | Published September 19, 2011

Police are on the lookout for a man who asked a 10-year-old boy standing on a Safety Patrol post at Highbury and Ivanhoe, in the John R and Square Lake area near Wass Elementary School, to come to his car around 8:45 a.m. Sept. 13.

Police said two 10-year-old boys stand at that corner on their Safety Patrol posts, which is about a block away from the school. The boys saw the same car parked near the exact spot Sept. 9.

On Sept. 13, a man — described as white, possibly Latino, in his 40s, with straight brown hair with black roots, a goatee and smoking a cigarette — asked one of the boys to “come here, I have something I want you to read,” police said.

The boy told police that he ran to the open garage of a home nearby and hid behind a vehicle parked there. The other boy ran to the school, Troy Police Lt. Robert Redmond said.

The suspect car is described as a small, four-door “bright and shiny” red older model, with dents on the trunk and on the side near the right turn signal, with a license plate with a white background and blue plate holder, and with books and food wrappers inside.

The Troy School District sent a letter to parents about the incident Sept. 13. A parent told police a car matching the description was parked near Hill Elementary School, about a mile away, the afternoon of Sept. 13.

Redmond said that police will patrol the schools and that officers did not see the suspect car at Wass on Sept. 14.

“We want to find this guy and talk to him to determine if he has a legitimate reason to be at the school,” Redmond said.

Anyone who sees a vehicle matching the description is asked to obtain the license plate number and then contact Troy police at (248) 524-3477.