Children approached by strangers in Scarborough, police issue safety alert

Police weapon discharged during struggle between officer and driver

In the past month, there have been three reports of children in Scarborough being approached by strangers who tried to lure them into cars, Toronto Police say. 

"It's very disturbing," said Const. David Hopkinson, with the Toronto Police Service.

The first incident happened on Feb. 10 at around 3 p.m., when two nine-year-old boys were walking in the Burrows Hall Boulevard and Purvis Crescent area.

A man in a vehicle reportedly approached the boys and asked them to get in his car. The boys became scared and ran away, and the vehicle drove off, Hopkinson said.

On March 7, two 10-year-old boys and a five-year-old girl were walking in the same area at around 8 a.m.. when a man in a vehicle approached them and asked if they wanted a ride.

Hopkinson said the children said no, but the man was persistent. The children became scared and ran away, and the man drove off.

In both incidents, Hopkinson said, the man is described as having a brown complexion, being 35-45 years old and wearing reading glasses. 

In the first incident, he's described as driving a charcoal or metallic-grey four-door sedan. In the second incident the vehicle is described as a small, silver, four-door car.

Man runs towards 10-year-old girl

Another incident happened more recently on Friday, March 10.

At about 3:25 p.m., Hopkinson said a man approached a 10-year-old girl who was walking home from Malvern Junior Public School.

A man reportedly got out of a dark-grey or black sedan and started to run towards the girl. The child became fearful and ran back to the school to tell school staff, Hopkinson said.

The man is described as being between five feet eight inches and six foot one inches tall having a medium build. He was wearing black clothing with a ski mask and sunglasses. 

Hopkinson said the two areas where the incidents occurred are "very closely linked."

"We are alerting parents in the area that this is happening. We're heading into March break, so we're aware that kids will be out more in the area than normal, and we want people in the area to be advised of these safety threats to kids," he said.

"In both of these situations the man or men approached kids while they were in groups. It's very disturbing."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.