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Tips offered after 3 cases involving strangers

Posted at 5:53 AM, Mar 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-21 07:51:59-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Three separate suspicious incidents since Friday have involved men in cars approaching kids across Southwest Florida.

These cases have police issuing tips for families to have that conversation about safety.

In the first case a man approached 3 kids after their bus dropped them off near Central Avenue and Moreno Avenue Friday afternoon around 2:30.

The driver followed the kids in a possible Dodge Charger for several minutes before they ran to a neighbor's house to call police.

That driver is described as a black male in his early 20's with long dreads and gold beads in the dreads.

Fort Myers police are also working a case where a man Friday afternoon stopped to ask a 16-year-old girl waiting on a bus for directions near High Street and Second Street.

He then, armed with a knife, forced her into his red Lexus before she was able to escape.

He's described as a white male around 50 years old, curly blonde hair, eye glasses, light facial hair or "scruff".

In Collier County the sheriff's office is investigating an incident near Lakewood Boulevard and Tamiami Trail East in Naples. Detectives say two young children were playing outside Saturday morning when a blue car pulled up, a man got out. took photos of the children and then told them to get in. When the children refused. the man drove away.

That driver is described as an older white male about 5 feet 10 inches tall with white hair. His blue car had a partial license plate of E64.

The Fort Myers Police Department reminds parents to go over these important safety tips with their children:

·         Don't talk to strangers.

·         Don't take anything from strangers.

·         Don't go anywhere with someone you don't know.

·         Stay more than an arm's reach from strangers.  If you are approached by a stranger, seek help immediately.

·         Trust your instincts, if you feel you are being followed or something is not right, seek help immediately.

·         Use the buddy system, avoid walking anywhere alone.

·         Review contact telephone numbers and home safety practices.

·         When seeking help, always go to a trusted adult - teacher, coach, police officer, other parent, or older siblings.

·         If a stranger grabs you, do everything you can to stop him or her from pulling you away.  Drop to the ground, kick, hit, bite, and scream.  Do whatever it takes to attract the attention of others who can help you.  If someone is dragging you away, scream, "this is not my dad," or "this is not my mom."

·         Report any suspicious activity to your local school and police department.

If you have any information on these cases, call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS.