An 11 year-old girl walking home from school on Monday, was approached by two men in a car who tried to lure her with an offer of money. Police today issued a warning to the general public about the incident.
According to Burbank Police, the girl was walking home from Luther Burbank Middle School, when she was approached by the suspects at Wyoming Ave. and Lima St. shortly after 3 p.m., March 4. The men were in what is described only as a “small white dirty compact car.” When the car pulled up next to the sidewalk where the girl was walking, the passenger leaned out of the window and yelled, “Hey you! Want some money?” According to the girl, the man was holding what appeared to be several bills in his hand, as he extended his right arm out the car window.
Fearing that the men were trying to lure her to the car and possibly abduct her, the girl turned and ran away. What the girl did is exactly what police advise children to do when approached by a stranger. “Children should never go near a stranger’s car. They should fold their arms to avoid being easily grabbed, and run away as quickly as possible. They should also scream for help and run to the nearest safe adult to seek help. Call 911 immediately,” according to police.
The suspect is described only as male Hispanics 28-32 years of age. The driver of the car is described on as a White male, 28-32 years of age. The only description of their car was that it was an older small white car that was dirty. Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or saw the suspect vehicle, should call the Burbank Police Department at 818-238-3000.
The police officer in whose beat the incident occurred, notified Bret Harte Elementary School on March 5. The school’s principal, Sheari Taylor, sent home a letter on March 6, advising parents about the incident, and asking parents to talk to their children about personal safety. According to Burbank Police spokesman Sgt. Darin Ryburn, officers regularly visit the schools in their beats, talking to principals and staff to keep lines of communication open.
According to Dr. Brian O’Rourke, principal at Luther Burbank, “Notification to parents about this incident will be sent via the school’s web site and Facebook page.” The police department sent out an alert via Twitter this afternoon.