Person of interest identified in child lurings

Stark County
Posted at 6:08 PM, Sep 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-24 18:08:35-04

A day after North Canton police urged parents to be on the lookout for a man attempting to lure children, investigators have fresh leads.

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In two separate incidents - moments apart - police said two girls, ages 11 and 16, reported a middle-aged white man approached them in an older, red pickup truck on 6th Street Southwest at about 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday. 

The man asked the girls if they wanted some candy, which he stated he had inside his truck, according to police.

The girls left the area and told their parents about the incident, who then contacted police.

Sgt. Frank Kemp told reporter Bob Jones that the younger girl got a license plate of the truck and also noticed a Cleveland Cavaliers' sticker in the back window.

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Based on that information, detectives developed "a person of interest."

Officers have made contact with the man and said he is cooperating with the investigators. No charges have been filed.

"I believe he hopes to clear his name," Kemp said.

Police sent out emails to North Canton schools to warn the district about the possible child enticement cases.

"It's very concerning when we're talking about the safety of our children," Kemp added.

He encourages parents to remind their children to be aware of their surroundings and remember stranger-danger rules. 

"Parents having a conversation, if something doesn't seem right to your child, walk away, go get your parents, got get a trusted adult," Kemp said. 

North Canton City Schools released a statement regarding the lurings: 

The safety of our students is our number one priority. While we don't want to scare our children, it is important we continue to reiterate this message of "stranger safety." Our principals made it a point today to talk about it with our younger students today. We also sent information and resources out to our families and encouraged them to discuss it with their children tonight.


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