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Cranford Police Investigate Possible Child Luring Incident

The following information was submitted by the Cranford Police Department. The investigation is ongoing.

The Cranford Police Department is currently investigating a possible child luring
incident that occurred earlier this morning not far from a local school.

An 11-year-old juvenile was approached while walking to school at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Thursday morning, according to a statement issued by the Cranford Police Department. The juvenile was walking on Brookside Place near the intersection of Waverly Place when the incident occurred. The juvenile reports that a newer style silver vehicle (make unknown) pulled near the curb and the adult male driver motioned to the juvenile to come to his vehicle.

The suspect, described as a white male in his 30s with light-colored short hair (possibly a crew cut), was wearing a white shirt and sport coat. The unknown suspect never spoke to the juvenile during the incident.

According to police, the juvenile ignored the adult male and continued walking to the bus stop where she called a parent and reported the incident. The vehicle left the area heading east on Brookside Place.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Cranford Police Department at 908-272-2222.

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Michele October 18, 2012 at 04:12 PM
That child is lucky that the man did not get out of the car and grab her. Maybe he would have if there was not other traffic coming along. I know many parents feel that it is perfectly safe to allow a child to walk to school or to the bus stop by his or herself at 11 years of age but it simply is NOT. No matter how much your child begs to walk alone PLEASE do not let them at that age. Sure Cranford is a fairly "safe" town but cars have made ALL towns accessible to everyone including perverts.
Kelly October 18, 2012 at 04:27 PM
I agree in this day in age it is not safe to let your children walk to school .. It only takes one time and they are gone .. This is a shocker specially since Cranford is such a nice town and u would think that it was safe.. Educate your children nevertheless of all the tricks of a perverse mind and not to speak to random strangers .. This is too close to my home and I have 4 children under the ages of 16 .. Not happy
gloria vrabel October 18, 2012 at 04:27 PM
These incidents have been happening in other parts of NJ I think Bergen county, not sure if there us any connection...please make sure you tell your child the dangers of speaking to strangers... Very scary!!!
Kelly October 18, 2012 at 04:28 PM
I agree in this day in age it is not safe to let your children walk to school .. It only takes one time and they are gone .. This is a shocker specially since Cranford is such a nice town and u would think that it was safe.. Educate your children nevertheless of all the tricks of a perverse mind and not to speak to random strangers .. This is too close to my home and I have 4 children under the ages of 16 .. Not happy
Loomis October 18, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Don't you think you are overreacting by saying its not safe for an eleven year old to walk to the bus stop by him or herself? The child did what they were obviously taught to do and ignored the person. Your "what if" scenario about the person getting out of the car could be answered with a child running and screaming for help.
Michele October 18, 2012 at 06:07 PM
No Loomis I don't think anyone is overreacting. Thank God that child did what she had been taught to do but it is obvious, from the number of children that are taken many do not. An 11 year old should NEVER be walking alone. I can possibly see MAYBE letting kids that age walk in a group but never alone. Anyone who thinks otherwise is very naive.
Michele October 18, 2012 at 06:11 PM
I don't think the description of the vehicle was the same and the man in the Begen area I believe was described as older than the man in this instance. That's a super scary situation because that guy kept trying over and over.
Loomis October 18, 2012 at 06:44 PM
You are overreacting. "The many that do not" as you say, should not walk alone but don't blanket every 11 year old with such an observation.
Michele October 18, 2012 at 06:58 PM
You sound a bit defensive Loomis. Is that a bit of quilt because you let your child walk to school? If you let your kids walk by themselves without insisting that he/she walks in a group todays event should make you reconsider what you are doing. Sadly NO 11 year old should be walking alone. There are instances where a child does indeed do as he/she was taught to do but is literally pursued by the individual who wants that child. It is absolutely NOT worth risking a kids life just because they may want to walk to school. When it comes to a child I would always err on the side of caution. I would much rather overreact then lose a child.
Loomis October 18, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Now you are exaggerating. Why would I feel quilts letting my child walk to school? Why not hover over my child on other things YOU think 11 year olds shouldn't do alone. You must feel guilty that you haven't properly taught your child what to do in the event something like this happens to them. Just because you are jealous that other children are able to safely walk to school knowing what to do, don't think you can push your fears on others. You are a bit of a hypochondriac
John October 18, 2012 at 07:57 PM
While I am more than willing te err on the side of caution and safety, let's not overreact. Since there was no actual verbal exchange between the child and the adult, this may be nothing more than an adult, foolishly, stopping and wanting directions. The child did the correct thing by ignoring him and contacting someone.
Gladys October 18, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Why don’t we try to tell The Patz & Kanka families & sadly so many others that it would be overreacting to make sure your 11 year old child does not walk ALONE anywhere... Let's hope that none of us ever have to find out for sure but certainly we should err way on the side of caution...!! This is scary to say the least!..
Loomis October 18, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Oh please Gladys. Patz was walking alone in NYC. Which is a far cry from Cranford
Loomis October 18, 2012 at 10:40 PM
You and Michelle must be "helicopter parents"
JERSEY GIRL October 19, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Everyone thinks Cranford/Westfield are such safe town.How ignorant ! Crime can happen anywhere. I have seen elementary age kids walking alone-there is safety in numbers. You cant assume that no danger will come to your child, luckily this child had a cell phone. Anyone can drive through these towns, they are not "gaited communities". Get your head out of the sand and wise up. I totally suspect crime could be under reported in these towns to avoid panic. How about getting a red light camera at Commerce near the Sunoco? To change topics, how many cars are going to be allowed to speed through that red light in the am???
Chris October 19, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Yet another reason why they need to return a crossing guard to the dangerous intersection at Gallows Hill Road and Brookside place. Besides the fact that cars rarely stop for anyone (child or not) an increase adult presence will serve as a deterrent.
barbara m October 19, 2012 at 01:56 PM
My children are grown now, but I must admit I let them walk to Orange Ave thru Nomahegan and over the footbridge. I would NEVER do that today! With all the negative stimulus from TV and movies and media, there are many more sick predators now and Cranford is not immune to them. Let us all protect our kids and grandkids by seeing to it that they get to and from school safely....it's such an easy thing to do. They will have plenty of time to protect themselves later on when we have no choice but to let them. Meanwhile...if this was a person looking for directions, hope he comes forward.
Michele October 19, 2012 at 02:24 PM
What's that old saying? "me thinks thou doth protest too much". If you don't know what that means look it up. Also Loomis your ignorance is showing. Please look up hypochondriac. It has NOTHING to do with the subject all all. My child was always properly taught Loomis what to do in such a circumstance but as some recent news programs have literally demonstrated, kids don't always follow what they are taught. And I am far from jealous of others that let their kids walk to school alone. That's sounds like a statment that a child would make. By the way Loomis, I can't help but notice that a greater percentage of parents drive or walk with kids of that age.
Michele October 19, 2012 at 02:26 PM
I can't think of one adult that would stop and ask a chld that age for directions.
Michele October 19, 2012 at 02:27 PM
And Megan Kanka? What's the excuse there.
Michele October 19, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Not at all. Just good parents. That is not to say you are not. You just appear to be naive or unaware of what goes on in the world we live in. Please note you are the ONLY one whose comments advocate letting an 11 year old walk around alone. Good luck.
Michele October 19, 2012 at 02:50 PM
How right you are. Things have changed and what one would let their child do some years ago would not be deemed safe now. The very idea that we have to teach children how to deal with such situations is a sad commentary on the state of the world. On another note not for a minute do I believe the man involved in this incident was aksing for directions. I can't think of any adult who would aks a child that age how to get around town. Even as a woman I would seek out an adult not a kid.
Rosanne October 19, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Simply put, it is better to be safe, especially with our precious children, then sorry when something like this occurs. For all the bantering back and forth, the bottomline is that all parents truly care about their children, but give them the freedom to walk back and forth to school...the very reason for neighborhood schools. True, it is better to walk with a friend or two and that should be encouraged. Thankfully, the child was not abducted, but we must pause and take stock of the priorities in our lives...a child's needs and protection must be first and foremost.
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Tom June 16, 2013 at 07:06 PM
It COULD have been a potential abduction, but lets not get carried away. Maybe the guy was going to ask her a simple question as what is the name of this street, or similar. While the girl acted correctly and deserves accolades, lets not judge the situation with hysteria, rather lets be sober... it may have not been what it seemed like. Kudos to the child though!


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