Local News

Police urge parents to warn children against talking to strangers

Posted December 29, 2014

— After three children in Wake Forest were approached in recent days by two men offering a ride, local police said Monday that parents need to talk to their children about such situations.

Wayne Sadlowski said his 8-year-old daughter was approached a few days before Christmas on Samuel Wait Lane in the Heritage Manor neighborhood.

"She got to the corner, and a car approached, and it stopped, and there was a guy driving and asked if she needed a ride, and that's when she yelled no and ran around the back of the car to her friend's house," Sadlowski said Monday.

A few days later, he said, his daughter's friend was also approached.

"She said the car drove past the street, turned around and came back and drove down the cul-de-sac, pulled up right here and asked her if she wanted a ride," he said.

Wake Forest police said two men also approached a young boy less than 5 miles away, on Lariat Ridge Drive, in the Carriage Run neighborhood off Ligon Mills Road. In that case, instead of offering a ride, they asked the boy if he could help find a missing kitten.

All three children described the vehicle the men were in as a gray or silver four-door SUV with damage on the passenger side and that was missing the passenger-side mirror.

Residents in two other Wake Forest neighborhoods reported seeing a vehicle matching that description on Sunday, but it has not been spotted since then.

Sadlowski said he thought his neighborhood was safe, but now he plans to keep a closer eye on his children and their friends.

"At first, it was shock that something like this could happen here, and then fright and disgust and anger," he said. "You do have to continue to talk to your kids and be vigilant regardless of where you live."

Wake Forest spokesman Bill Crabtree echoed that sentiment.

"These things can happen anywhere, and that's why it's so critically important for parents to talk to their children and explain to them what to do in these situations," Crabtree said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police department at 919-554-6150. Callers can remain anonymous.


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  • Barely Dec 30, 2014

    There's a difference between being a concerned parent and being a parent that puts all of their concerns on children. There are way too many parents that project their fears onto their kids.

  • carolinarox Dec 30, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Children become much better adults when given some freedom and don't have their parents helicoptoring, hovering and watching their every move. Warn them about stranger danger (although they are much more likely to be molested by someone they know) and let them go play. Without hovering.

  • johnnymanziel Dec 30, 2014

    Nice neighborhood.

  • K Hope Capps Dec 30, 2014
    user avatar

    Unfortunately, there's nowhere fully safe. You can't get complacent. Luckily, all of these children were wary enough. But they really should not be out alone.

  • Kreader7 Dec 30, 2014

    Parents shouldn't be shocked. They need to remain viglant. These weirdos can find their way into supposedly safe neighborhoods. Hope they find these creeps.