By Diana Rocco
MAPLE SHADE, N.J. (CBS) – Police in Burlington County released a sketch of a man suspected of trying to lure an 8-year-old girl earlier this month.
On June 3rd, at about 11 a.m., police say while riding her bike near her home in Maple Shade, the little girl was approached by a man described by police as suspicious.
Lt. Jeffery Hoch of the Maple Shade Police Department, who’s trying to get the word out so parents are aware, said the man went up to the girl and asked her if she’d seen his dog.
Police say the girl immediately dropped her bike and ran for a neighbor’s home. The neighbors called her parents who in turn called police. The girl was able to give officers enough details to put a sketch together.
Some parents have been talking about this on Facebook and police want to make sure the right information is out there. Police say the man did not try to get the girl in his car, but he is still considered suspicious and wanted for questioning.
At a nearby park parents are concerned. They are keeping their kids a little closer and teaching them to stay away from strangers.
“This is a parent’s worst nightmare, for someone to take your child or do something bad to them,” says Roberto Concepcion of Cherry Hill, who is watching his son’s baseball game with other parents. “We talk to them about strangers. There’s so much danger out there, you really have to prepare yourself for that stuff,” he said.
“It’s always a concern. It’s always in the back of your mind. We just reiterate to our children to never go near people you don’t know,” says parent Patty Frisby.
The suspect is described as Hispanic, 20 to 30 years of age with brown hair. He may also have tattoos on his knuckles. Police say he was driving a white van with a football helmet sticker on the back door.
Maple Shade Police and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office are investigating. Anyone who thinks they recognize the suspect or has information is asked to call 856-234-8300.