Neighborhood on alert after two, potential child enticement attempts

A west side Madison neighborhood is on alert after police officials say there were two, potential child enticements within blocks of each other, involving the same suspect.Madison Police officials say an 11-year old boy on a bicycle was approached by a man in a car June 9 and urged to get inside, and offered space for his bike. Authorities say the child rode away.  The incident took place at Lacrosse Lane and South Eau Claire Avenue.Police officials say a 13-year old girl on a bicycle Thursday was followed by a car, at South Eau Claire Avenue and Regent Street, with the child able to ride off away from the car.

Authorities say in both instances, the car is described as a dark blue or black, smaller SUV, possibly a Subaru Forrester.  Also, in both cases, the suspect driver is described as white, clean shaven, and in his thirties or forties."It's pretty scary,"  says Camie Morris, who's a member of the Hill Farms Pool, located near where the girl was approached.  Madison Police spokesperson Officer Howard Payne says neighborhood parents should discuss what happened with their children. 

"We also think it's important for you to devise a plan for your child,"  Payne says."We've told them to not say anything, just run away,"  Morris says of she and her husband's conversation with their two children.  "Maybe go in a backyard, if a person is in a car, it's harder for them to follow you,"  she says.  "If you see an adult you trust, go to them."Hill Farms Pool Director Janna Casey says member families are taking precautions."We have families now that are having kids together, or walk together," she says.

University Hill Farms Neighborhood Association content coordinator Brendan Dybdahl says the association's Facebook group is receiving updates on the investigation, and prevention steps.  "We try to strike a balance, too, of not being too alarming."Morris says her family's summer schedule is remaining on track, but extra caution is being exercised.  (We're) Looking for the car that matches the description."A police official says the vigilance of the University Hill Farms neighborhood has made it more likely if the suspect surfaces again, it may be at another city pool.  Casey says she's networked with the other pools, sharing information and safety tips. 

Madison Police officials ask anyone with information on the apparent, enticement attempts to contact them at 608-266-6014.

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