Berkeley police searching for suspicious man trying to lure kids

BERKELEY (KRON) —  Berkeley police are investigating an incident that occurred Friday morning in Berkeley, involving a man suspected of trying to lure middle school students into his van.

Around 8:20 a.m., two Willard Middle School students were walking on Telegraph Avenue, near Stuart Street, when a van pulled up next to them, police said.

The driver had the window pulled down and told the students to get in his van. The students refused and continued walking, according to police.

When the driver pulled up next to them once again, the students quickly went to the school and reported the incident to schools staff, who called 911.

As officers investigated the incident, officers learned of second incident involving a man that matched the description of the suspect in the first incident, police said.

The second incident occurred approximately at the same time, near Telegraph Avenue and Derby Street.

In that incident, the suspect waved toward another student standing on the sidewalk and motioned for her to approach his van. The suspect, however, suddenly drove off when the student’s father appeared, police said.

In both the incidents, the suspect is described as a Hispanic male, between 30 and 40 years old, with dark hair, a mustache and with a heavy set body.

The suspect wore a baseball cap and was driving an older model, dark green mini van, possibly a Nissan Quest with rear-tinted window, according to police.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact the Berkeley Police Department at (510) 981-5900. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Bay Area Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

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