Crime

Ceres police looking for man trying to lure junior high students into his car

Ceres Police are working to identify a man who they believe on at least three occasions has tried to lure junior high school-aged girls into his vehicle as they walked to school.

Two incidents were reported Tuesday and a similar incident was reported last month, according to a press release from the Ceres Police Department.

At about 7:20 a.m. in the area of Magnolia and Tenth Streets a Mae Hensley Junior High student walking to school was approached by a man in a vehicle who asked for directions to Ceres High School.

The student gave the man directions but he then asked her to get into his car so she could show him how to get there.

The student used her cell phone to call her parents and the suspect drove away.

A Cesar Chavez Junior High student reported a similar incident around the same time, three blocks away at Whitmore Avenue and Ninth Street. The vehicle drove off when another vehicle approached from behind, according to the release.

In both incidents the vehicle was described as a dark green or black four-door car, possibly a Honda. The paint on the vehicle was sun-damaged and peeling. The driver was described as either Latino or Middle Eastern, in his late 20s to early 30s, with a shaved head and stubble on his face.

Another incident was reported to the Ceres Police Department on the morning of April 17. The driver in that incident was described as a Latino man in his 30s with a beard and wearing a baseball cap. The vehicle was described as an older green Honda four-door with a Superman logo on the back window.

The Ceres Police Department has increased patrols around the schools in the morning and afternoon hours.

Anyone who sees a vehicle matching the description is asked to call the Ceres Police Department at 209-538-5713.

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