Chandler police are investigating two claims that an older man in a white SUV has been driving around trying to attract children to his vehicle. They say there's a woman in the back seat on the passenger side offering money, but so far children have done exactly what they are supposed to do- run away and tell an adult they trust.
"All kids would," says Rachel Okes.
Okes lives in Chandler and has heard about the suspicious SUV. She thinks even her young son, Peyton, would be attracted if someone was offering money.
"You need to talk to your kids about any items, any stranger that's talking to them or someone they know they're not supposed to be going with. May not necessarily be a stranger, may be somebody they do know," says Asst. Chief Bob Irvin with Chandler Police.
The program, Think First, Stay Safe, at Holly's House has been able to identify child lures and in turn aims to teach children how to avoid people who may want to harm them.
"We want them to know if somebody approaches you in this way, somebody's bribing you, somebody's threatening you. We talk about the name lure, if somebody knows your name and you don't know why they know your name. Does that mean they're your friend?" says Sidney Hardgrave with Holly's House.
Officials stress to use open lines of communication even with pre-school age children to learn what your children may have seen.
"Our hope is that these children will come forward at the first step of the grooming process, before a relationship is formed. Before that predators had more opportunity to be alone with that child," Hardgrave says.
Experts encourage parents to ask children about what they see at the playground because often a child might witness something and not say a word.
Experts say other child lures include affection, strangers telling your children how much they care and love them.
The predator might not be a stranger, like in the case of the hero lure. Be diligent and make sure you know the adults your children spend time with.
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