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Sketch Released in Latest Possible Bergen Child Luring Attempt

Latest incident was reported in Westwood as cases being investigated across Bergen County.

Police are searching for a man involved in a "potential luring incident" Thursday morning in Westwood, according to Police Captain Frank Durante.

The incident took place on Lafayette Avenue at about 7:10 a.m. when the Westwood Jr./Sr. High School student was walking to school, Durante said. The man allegedly stopped and offered the girl a ride. She declined and reported the incident when she got to school.

Police are searching for information about the man. He was described as being middle-aged and balding with a crew cut. He was driving a gray four-door hatchback with a NYPD sticker in the front left windshield. Police released a sketch of the suspect Thursday afternoon.

Anyone with information can contact Westwood Police at 201-664-7000.

Westwood Regional Superintendent Geoffrey Zoeller wrote a letter to parents Thursday alerting them to the incident. In the letter, Zoeller wrote that school officials would monitor lunch, recess and dismissal. The district also reiterated the "stranger danger" issue with students Thursday.

"Obviously, this is of significant concern to all of us, particularly in light of recent alleged luring attempts that have occurred in neighboring towns over the past couple of weeks, as well as the Township of Washington in mid-September," Zoeller wrote.

Numerous luring incidents have been reported in Bergen County over the past month. Police in Oradell are investigating an incident in which a man offered a ride to a 7-year-old boy. Police have said the incident may be related to other recent luring attempts in Maywood, Hackensack and Hawthorne. Hackensack police this week also released a sketch in that case. 

In Teaneck, the school district issued a letter with safety tips for parents. New Milford authorities have also urged residents to precautions and immediately report suspcious activity. 

Ridgewood Police reported that three men recently tried to lure a middle school student into their car, but that case was not believed to be linked to others. 

In Ramsey, no recent luring incidents have been reported, but police are stepping up patrols around schools. Police said the recent luring attempts present an opportunity for parents to discuss safety tips with their kids.

 

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