BEDFORD (CBS 11 NEWS) – The Bedford Police Department has a warning for parents after a family caught a man trying to lure young girls into his vehicle.
Chris and Brandie Garek have always told their daughters not to talk to strangers. Still, they were surprised to see the result of that lesson unfold in front of them.
“It was… it was surreal,” said Chris. “Like… this really happened?”
The couple was sitting in their truck Saturday morning, watching their 8 and 9-year-old daughters play several feet away with a friend.
Watching for someone who was scheduled to pick up the girls, Chris says he noticed a red Jeep SUV slowly pass their home, only to return a minute later. This time, he says, it stopped at the end of the driveway.
“I turned around and said, ‘What’s he doing?’ and then, I saw a dog hanging out the window,” said Chris.
According to the Gareks, an older man was asking his daughters if they wanted to pet his dog.
Chris said he immediately headed over. “That’s not right,” he said. “So, I opened my door. As soon as I took a step or two toward him, he drove off.”
Bedford police say even though no crime was committed, they are investigating and have leads on the identity of the driver.
Lieutenant Kirk Roberts said the department is working with, “An abundance of caution because of similar vehicle information in a couple other incidents.”
In Haltom City, neighbors recalled seeing a red vehicle in the area the same day a father reported his toddler was almost abducted. Lt. Roberts said a red vehicle was also linked in another case in Hurst. The cases have not been connected, but police say they are looking for any similarities.
Roberts also says it’s common for child predators to try and entice children. “By asking about pets, offering money,” he said.
The Gareks now know it wouldn’t work on their daughters. Brandie said she’s proud that when faced with a stranger and his dog, they shook their heads and walked off.