Portland police have responded to two incidents this week in which strangers tried to lure school-aged children into their vehicles.

The first incident was reported Monday morning after a man in his 20s or 30s approached a 10-year-old boy who was walking on Congress Street toward Reiche Elementary School and offered him a ride. The man drove away in a light blue or white sedan after the boy responded “No,” police said.

Two days later, a 17-year-old student was walking home from Waynflete on Spring Street when an older man with a scruffy beard, red coat and winter beanie hat approached him in a Honda minivan and “insinuated” that he would give the boy a ride, police said. The student continued walking home.

Brad Nadeau, a department spokesman, said police are encouraging parents to remind their children to never take rides from strangers, or people they do know, without their parents’ permission. If they are approached or feel uncomfortable, they should find the nearest trusted adult and tell them what happened, he said.

Police also recommend that students walk with multiple friends if possible, run and yell “Help” loudly if they are approached by someone on foot, and turn around and walk in the other direction if followed by a stranger in a car, Nadeau said.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about the two incidents to call 207-874-8575.

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