Cops issue warning about suspicious person

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Mike DuPre'
Friday, June 27, 2008
— Janesville police decided to “opt on the side of caution” when they issued an alert Monday afternoon about a stranger approaching two children Saturday evening in the 2500 block of Clover Lane.

Police don’t know if the man had a legitimate reason to ask the children about their parents’ whereabouts or if, in fact, the man is the same man who tried to assault or abduct kids in the Des Moines, Iowa, area.

But because the man left when approached by one of the children’s grandparents and that the man resembles a composite sketch developed by Iowa authorities, police decided to alert the public, Lt. Tim Hiers said Thursday afternoon.

The suspicious person report was typed Monday and passed to Hiers, who as head of the detective bureau reviews all suspicious person reports. The regional alert about the Des Moines incident caught up with him Monday as well, Hiers said.

An officer showed the composite to the grandparent, who said the picture resembled the man who approached the children about 8:50 p.m. Saturday, Hiers said.

Other details matched the description of the Iowa suspect—height and build, for instance—and the car the man in Iowa drove, Hiers said.

But police have no direct connection between the Janesville and Iowa incidents or any indication—other than his leaving—that the man intended harm to the children on Clover Lane, Hiers said.

The man in Janesville was described as white, in his late 20s to 30s, with short brown hair, thin build, about 6 feet tall, wearing a black or blue polo-style shirt and carrying a black bag.

The man approached the children, ages 8 and 10, in the 2500 block of Clover Lane as they played in a driveway. He asked if their parents were home. As the children were answering no, a grandparent came out.

The man noticed the grandparent, turned around and said he would “catch up with the parents later,” police reported.

He left quickly in a black or dark blue vehicle similar to a Pontiac Grand Am.

Janesville police ask that residents be aware of suspicious behavior by similarly described men and call the department at (608) 755-3100 immediately if they see such activity.

Authorities in the Des Moines area are investigating seven incidents of attempted abductions and/or child assault cases this month, Hiers said.

Three young girls were sexually assaulted in two of the Iowa incidents, according the Des Moines Register’s Web site.

Last updated: 9:16 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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