A man who police believe has been trying to lure children to his car throughout Pembroke Pines targeted a boy Monday night who was waiting at a bus stop, authorities said.
Police said the man pulled up in a vehicle next to the boy, who was waiting at the bus stop at Northwest 96th Avenue and Pines Boulevard.
Police said the man asked the boy if he needed to charge his cellphone.
The boy said, "No," and walked away from the car.
The driver drove off, police said.
Detectives said a driver, believed to be the same man, targeted two girls earlier in the day in the area of Northwest 85th Avenue and Northwest Sixth Street.
In that case, police said the man told the children he was lost and asked to use their cellphones for directions.
Police believe the man may be the same person who attempted to persuade girls to get close to his vehicle and give him directions to Sawgrass Mills Mall.
The girls from Monday's incident told police that the man matched the composite sketch that was issued last week in a press release.
Pembroke Pines residents told Local 10 News reporter Carlos Suarez that they were shocked about the allegations.
"I moved here about a year ago and I've never had any issues with anything," Jennifer Eilerman said. "I've never really had any problems. I feel like I've always felt super safe."
By Tuesday night, some residents living in areas where the man tried to lure children said they fear he will strike again.
"It's scary, especially because I have two kids at home. I already talked to them about that guy," said Pembroke Pines resident Karina Rahn.
The man was last seen driving a newer-model, four-door white Mazda 3, with tinted rear windows, and untinted front windows.
Below are tips from the Pembroke Pines Police Department on how to stay safe when approached by a stranger:
- Always be aware of your surroundings and if possible, walk in groups or pairs.
- Do not engage strangers in conversation.
- Do not accept any items from them or give them any of your personal property.
- Do not approach a stranger or their vehicle for any reason.
- Get away from the stranger and call 911 if possible.
- Immediately tell your parents or another trusted adult that a stranger approached you.
- Parents, contact the police
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Pembroke Pines Police Department at 954-431-2200 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.