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Three possible child luring incidents in New Westminster not linked, police say

Three reported incidents in the last month of suspicious males trying to lure children in New Westminster are not likely connected say police.

One detective, however, has been assigned to the cases, said Sgt. Gary Weishaar.

"It doesn't appear to be any of them are alike in similarities when the evidence is compared," he said.

The department, however, is being extra vigilant on its patrols near schools during classes as well as just before and after.

The latest incident occurred during the lunch hour on Friday, Feb. 4 near Queen Elizabeth elementary in Queensborugh, but was not reported to authorities until Feb. 8. A man on foot was reported to have approached some students asking if they wanted some money.

The man was described as Caucasian wearing a red jacket and yellow hat and had a "grandpa look" to him.

On Feb. 3 in the Brow of the Hill area, a youth on the way to elementary school was approached by an older male driving an older grey truck. He was described as having a grey beard, wearing a green Nike T-shirt and black baseball cap with grey trim. He told the youth to get in the truck suggesting it was important, but the youth ignored him and the truck drove off.

In January, there was a similar incident with a man in a van, but Weishaar said it doesn't appear related because the vehicles and descriptions were different.

He said the incidents have heightened the sense of concern and the police have received more calls than normal. That heightened awareness, though, has caused some misunderstandings.

One child waiting to be picked up thought a driver was waving to get in the car and reported it, said Weishaar. The investigation, however, revealed the driver assumed the child wanted to cross the street and stopped to allow them to do so.

ggranger@newwestnewsleader.com

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