Par­ents on alert as four chil­dren grabbed

The Advertiser - - NEWS - JORDANNA SCHRIEVER POLLY HAYNES

FOUR school­child­ren have been fol­lowed or grabbed by men wear­ing dark cloth­ing in three sep­a­rate, ter­ri­fy­ing in­ci­dents in Ade­laide’s north­ern sub­urbs.

Po­lice are un­able to con­clu­sively say whether the same man or mul­ti­ple men were re­spon­si­ble for the in­ci­dents – all of which hap­pened while the chil­dren were walk­ing to or from school – over the past week.

The first in­ci­dent hap­pened last Fri­day at Sal­is­bury North, the sec­ond on Tues­day at Sal­is­bury Park and the most re­cent on Wed­nes­day at Craig­more.

Po­lice, who are li­ais­ing with schools in the area, are keen to hear from any mem­ber of the public who wit­nessed these in­ci­dents and have re­leased CCTV footage to iden­tify a pos­si­ble sus­pect.

De­tec­tive Chief In­spec­tor Cath Hil­lard said the vic­tims in each in­stance were “nat­u­rally fright­ened” but un­harmed.

De­scrip­tions of the men were “some­what dif­fer­ent” so po­lice were un­able to con­clu­sively link the cases, she said.

“Un­til we get fur­ther in­for­ma­tion it would be very spec­u­la­tive to say any­thing other than we be­lieve that they are three dif­fer­ent men,” she said.

Chief-Insp Hil­lard said par­ents should speak to their chil­dren about safely walk­ing to and from school.

“Par­ents should be con­cerned, but not alarmed,” she said. “Many of the chil­dren are of that in­de­pen­dent age and so what we do ask is that the par­ents have a good re­la­tion­ship with their chil­dren and ask them ques­tions and pro­vide ad­vice in re­spect of how they are get­ting to and from school … "” The first in­ci­dent, last Fri­day, oc­curred as the child was walk­ing to school, while the sec­ond two oc­curred as the chil­dren were walk­ing home from school.

Chief Insp Hil­lard said it was un­likely a sim­i­lar in­ci­dent at Mead­ows, where a man turned and touched a girl’s arm, was linked. ANY­ONE WITH IN­FOR­MA­TION SHOULD CON­TACT CRIME STOP­PERS ON 1800 333 000.

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