• Gardner Police warn of man in van approaching girls, offering candy

    Updated:

    GARDNER, Mass. - Gardner Police reported on Tuesday two young girls were approached by an older man with blonde hair driving a white van.

    According to police, the man asked the girls to get into the van and offered them candy before they ran away. 

    "It's scary! You never want anyone making an attempt to lure your kids or anyone else in the community," said Kelly, a local mom. "It's terrifying. it's scary but we can just hope we have enough eyes open and teach our kids well enough to run and get an adult right away."

    Hubbardston Police also reported a similar incident on Tuesday. Police say two girls were approached by an "older male" with dirty gray hair that may have been dyed. He was reportedly wearing a hat and sun glasses and was seen driving a full-sized white van with tinted black windows. 

    "We're definitely on higher alert. we always pay close attention but now that we know there's something specific to pay attention to, we'll be watching for it," said Kelly.

    Police say it seemed as though the man was video taping and taking pictures of the girls. 

    In both incidents, police say the suspect was driving a white van.

    "It’s a scary thing, it really is, and I hope they catch him," said Philip Erskine, a neighbor. 

    Gardner Police are actively searching for the suspect, and are asking everyone to be diligent and aware, and to report any suspicious activity that could be related to this incident. 

    "The quicker we get a phone call or information, the more likely we'll be able to find out who this person is," said police.

    "It's so important, definitely one of the most important things you can teach your kids - don't talk to people you don't know, even if they say they know you parents," said Kelly.

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