POLICE are investigating two child approach incidents in Moama in five days.
With a man of similar description approaching two boys on their way to school yesterday and another boy on Friday, Inspector Paul Huggett of Deniliquin police said it was cause for concern.
‘‘There have been two approaches which we are investigating separately, but it would appear the descriptions are somewhat similar, although the vehicles are different,’’ he said.
‘‘Investigators are working with the children to get a composite picture done and we are also tying in with Vic Pol because we don’t know where this man could be from.’’
A man driving a late-model silver Mazda BT-50 single-cab ute with a rear tray and a tarp or tonneau approached two 12-year-old boys walking along Perricoota Rd about 8am yesterday.
Police were told the man had driven past the boys three times before he stopped and asked if they wanted a lift.
He repeatedly asked the boys three to four times, before doing a U-turn and parking on the other side of the road.
The man called out again to the boys before driving out of town in a westerly direction.
The boys reported the incident to teachers at their school, who contacted police.
It follows a similar incident on Friday, when a 10-year-old boy walking along Francis St was approached by a man driving a black van about 3pm.
The man pulled close to the boy and asked if he wanted a lift home.
The boy declined and ran home and informed his parents, who reported it to the boy’s school and local police a short time later.
‘‘The boys would be fairly distressed, although I haven’t spoken to them personally,’’ Insp. Huggett said.
‘‘The school is now working with the kids, which is the appropriate thing to do,’’ Insp. Huggett said.
He said police had thoroughly searched both areas, but were unable to locate the man or the van.
‘‘These utes are a dime a dozen,’’ he said.
In both incidents, the man was described as being aged about 40 to 60 with a tanned complexion. He was bald, had rotten teeth with some missing and no facial hair.
‘‘We would urge people with any information, no matter how trivial, to report it to police,’’ Insp. Huggett said.
The incident has prompted police to encourage parents to discuss the ‘Safe People, Safe Places’ messages with their children.
‘‘Talk to your kids about stranger danger,’’ Insp. Huggett said.
‘‘Don’t talk to people you don’t know and never get into a car with someone you don’t know. If a car stops on the side of the road and you don’t know the person inside, do not stop.’’
He also encouraged children to make sure their parents always knew where they were, walk straight home or the place they were going, walk near busier roads and streets and know where safe places are.
‘‘Each parent has to make their own decision about how their child goes to and from school,’’ he said.
‘‘We have been tasked to patrol the area, but we can’t cover every place.’’
■Anyone with information about these incidents can contact Deniliquin police on 5881 9299 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.