HURST (CBSDFW.COM) – Parents across North Texas are on alert after some suspicious behavior was reported near two elementary schools. Students claimed that strangers either approached them or offered them a ride home. The most recent case happened near Harrison Lane Elementary School in Hurst.
Police said that a 9-year-old girl was walking home from school in Hurst on Tuesday afternoon. She reported that a man in a black van was watching her for a little bit, and then began to come toward her on foot. She was able to run away and was not harmed at all.
However, a separate but similar incident was also reported in Grapevine. Parents from Heritage Elementary School were told about a possible child abduction attempt after a 10-year-old boy reported suspicious behavior. He said that a man offered him a ride home. Police are investigating the claim.
Authorities do not have a good description of either suspect, or evidence to suggest that the cases are connected.
Meanwhile, parents have organized a plan to stand guard outside after the bell rings. The Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District has applauded their efforts. “I think every neighborhood in this area should take chairs out and do this,” stated parent Robin Browne. “One child taken can affect an entire community.”
“For these parents to hear about this incident and mobilize to serve as extra eyes in the neighborhood, it says a lot,” explained Rick Hadley with the GCISD, “and we are grateful for their support. The school district is also bringing in extra personnel to monitor children at the end of the day.
“My kids cannot walk home because of this,” said parent Brittanie Luna. “This happens way too much.”
“Some children have working parents. They walk home. I see it every day,” added parent Dotty Ponder. “They should feel safe. They should have no worry about coming or going to school.”
“It’s changed our routine,” admitted parent Justin Thomas. “I’m taking off work today to make sure they are safe, that we have communication with the school, just making sure their safety is number one.”
Police have asked that anyone with additional information, or those who see something suspicious, to report it right away.