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Police Investigate 2 Attempted Child Lurings In Oxford Circle

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Police are searching for an attempted luring suspect after they say he tried his crime twice — targeting two children walking to school.

Philadelphia Police were highly visible keeping an extra close watch on students at Spruance Elementary School after what investigators say are two attempts to lure children as they walked to class through the adjoining Max Myers Playground in Philadelphia’s Oxford Circle neighborhood.

“It is heartbreaking to know that something like this could happen so close to a school,” a resident said.

Police were first called to the school around 8 a.m., when, according to a letter distributed to parents, a 12-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy were grabbed inside the playground in separate incidents 10 minutes apart.

The letter read, in part:

“A male walked up to her and grabbed her hand. The male told her he had something for her…Three unknown males then chased the male who grabbed her.”

“Oh my God it made me sick to my stomach. I wanted to cry,” a parent said.

After the girl escaped, unharmed, and ran across the street into the school, the boy was grabbed.

The letter read, in part:

“A male walked up to him and grabbed his arm. The male tried to pull him but the boy was able to break away.”

Escaping unharmed, police say he, too, ran into the nearby school.

“They’re just innocent, you know, and there are so many sick people out here to just take them, just like that,” a grandparent said.

“We will be working also with the Philadelphia Police and our own school police to provide more support at the school in the next few days,” Fernando Gallard, spokesperson for the School District of Philadelphia said.

The school district is advising parents and children to be extra alert and aware of strangers.

Police say they are now searching for a suspect described as a Black male, 30 to 40-years-old, salt and pepper hair, mustache, blue and white checkered shirt, tan pants and light-colored sneakers.

In the letter, sent to parents, it does indicate that the suspect frequents the playground.

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