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Incident Prompts a Reminder of 'Stranger Danger'

A 10-year-old boy reported Wednesday morning that a driver approached him and told him to get in his car.

A sketch of a man who told a 10-year-old boy to get in his car Wednesday morning will be released by authorities in an effort to warn the public of a potential predator.

According to the Orange County Sheriff's Department, at about 7:25 a.m., a white man with short gray hair and a "big red nose" driving a gray/silver pickup approached the boy as he walked to school near Del Obispo Street and Avenida Pedrigal.

The man rolled down his window and said something to the boy that he didn't understand. "When the boy asked, 'What did you say?' the man responded: 'Get in the truck and I’ll take you to there,' and pointed back to the school," said sheriff's spokesman Dan Salcedo.

The man is described as between 50 and 60 years old. He was wearing a gray jacket and blue jeans. He had a gray or silver toolbox in his truck bed.

"We are taking this seriously, because you never know if similar incidents have happened in the area that have gone unreported," Salcedo said.

Del Obispo Elementary School Principal Eric Gruenewald sent an e-mail to parents this afternoon to share "some basic reminders about stranger danger." He told parents to make sure their children never walk to school alone and to tell their kids to run away if a stranger follows them in a car.

Capistrano Unified School District students "may only ride home with parents or people listed on the emergency card. If you have a carpool, please inform the office to update the emergency card," he wrote in the e-mail. 

Those with information about this or other similar incidents are asked to contact the Sheriff's Department at 949-647-7000.

Melissa Hodge April 21, 2011 at 04:33 AM
Kudos to the student for reporting the incident. Very brave and wise. Our family thanks you.

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