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Palmdale Sheriff’s Station Seeks Public’s Help in Identifying Child Annoyance Suspect
Palmdale Detectives are seeking the public's help in identifying a suspect in a child annoyance case which occurred on Monday afternoon.
At approximately 4:45 PM, a 13 year old girl was walking home from school in the area of 35th Street East and East Avenue R-14, when a Hispanic Male driving a white Toyota Prius began calling out to the girl and soliciting her to get into his vehicle. The victim appropriately ignored the suspect's request and ran home where she reported the incident to her parents, who then contacted Palmdale Station.
The suspect in this incident is described as being a 35 year old Hispanic Male with a shaved head, brown eyes, and a thin mustache. He is approximately 5'10" and weighs around 150 pounds. The vehicle he was driving is described as a "pearl" white Toyota Prius with a California license plate.
Palmdale Detectives are asking if anyone has any information regarding the identification of the suspect to please contact the Palmdale Station's Detective Bureau at 661-272-2400 or provide the information anonymously through Crimestoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS.
With millions of children walking to and from school every day across the United States, it is important that parents talk with their children about what to do should they be approached by someone they do not know. The below Tips from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children can help prepare your child for a safer journey to and from school.
Tips for Parents and Guardians
1. Instruct your children to always TAKE A FRIEND, always stay in well-lit areas, never take shortcuts, and never go into isolated areas. Teach them to stay aware of their surroundings and observe all traffic rules in place to more safely share the roads and sidewalks with others.
2. Walk the route to and from school with your children pointing out landmarks and safe places to go if they're being followed or need help. Make the walk to and from school a "teachable moment" and chance to put their skills to the test. Make a map with your children showing acceptable routes to and from school. If your children wait for a bus, wait with them or make arrangements for supervision at the bus stop.
3. If anyone bothers your children or makes them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused, while going to or from school, teach your children to trust their feelings, immediately get away from that person, and TELL you or another trusted adult. If an adult approaches your children for help or directions, remember grownups needing help should not ask children; they should ask other adults. Instruct your children to never accept money or gifts from anyone unless you have told them it is OK to accept in each instance.
4. Even though there may be more safety in numbers it is still not safe for young children to walk to and from school, especially if they must take isolated routes anytime during the day or in darkness. Always provide supervision for your young children to help ensure their safe arrival to and from school.
5. Instruct your children to leave items and clothing with their name on them at home. If anyone calls out their name, teach them to not be fooled or confused. Teach your children about the tricks someone may try to use to confuse them or engage them in conversation. Children should also be taught that they do not need to be polite if approached and to get out of the situation as quickly and safely as possible
6. Ensure current and accurate emergency contact information is on file for your children at their school. If you, or another trusted family member or friend, need to pick up your children, make sure to follow the school's departure procedures. These procedures need to include the school's confirmation of your children's departure with only those you authorize to pick them up.
7. Teach your children if anyone tries to take them somewhere they should quickly get away and yell, "This person is trying to take me away" or "This person is not my father/mother/guardian." Teach your children to make a scene and every effort to get away by kicking, screaming, and resisting.
8. Teach your children if anyone follows them on foot to get away from that person as quickly as possible. If anyone follows them in a vehicle they should turn around, go in the other direction, and try to quickly get to a spot where a trusted adult may help them. Advise them to be sure to TELL you or another trusted adult what happened.
9. Instruct your children to never leave school with anyone until they've checked with a trusted adult. If anyone tells them there is an emergency and they want your children to go with them, teach your children to always CHECK FIRST with you before doing anything. Also teach your children to always CHECK FIRST with you if they want to change their plans before or after school. Make sure your children always play with other children, have your permission to play in specific areas, and let you know where they are going to be. Instruct your children to TELL a trusted adult if they notice anyone they don't know or feel comfortable with hanging around them.
10. In the event your children may be lost or injured, make sure they carry a contact card with your name and telephone numbers such as work and cellular. This card should be hidden from plain view.
Key Tips to Reinforce With Your Children
1. Always TAKE A FRIEND with you when walking, biking, or standing at the bus stop. Make sure you know your bus number and which bus to ride.
2. Say NO if anyone you don't know or a person who makes you feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused offers a ride. Do NOT accept a ride from anyone unless I have told you it is OK to do so in each instance.
3. Quickly get away and yell, "THIS PERSON IS NOT MY MOTHER/FATHER/GUARDIAN" if anyone tries to take you somewhere or is following you. If anyone tries to grab you, make a scene and every effort to get away by kicking, screaming, and resisting.
4. NEVER LEAVE SCHOOL GROUNDS before the regular school day ends. Always check with the office before leaving school early.
5. NEVER take shortcuts or walk through alleys to get to or from school faster. We will talk about which way to go to and from school. Remind me if activities you participate in cause you to leave earlier or arrive home later than usual. Remember to call me once you have arrived home.
This information and more can be found on Palmdale Sheriff Station's website at www.palmdale.lasd.org or the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children website at www.missingkids.com.
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