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Man tries to lure Athens brothers into his vehicle

By Holly Hollman 340-2445

ATHENS — A stranger tried to lure two brothers into his van Monday, police said.

Police Capt. Marty Bruce said the boys, ages 5 and 14, were riding their bicycles in the area of Malone Street and Eighth Avenue when a man in a van asked them if they wanted a ride at about 6:30 p.m. The boys said told him no and continued on their bicycles, Bruce said.

The driver circled the block and stopped again and asked the boys to come to him to talk. As the suspect got out of his van, the boys said no again.

"They rode away to tell their mother," Bruce said.

Bruce said residents in the neighborhood told police the van has been in the neighborhood the last few days.

The boys said the van was burgundy and looked like an older model. It has some type of sticker on the back window.

The driver is white with a dark beard and long curly hair. He was wearing a yellow and black jacket. Anyone with information about the van or driver can call police 233-8700.

There are things children can do if a stranger approaches. Some tips from Athens police:

? First, stay away from strangers who want you to go somewhere or get into their vehicle, even if they seem nice.

? If you have a phone, call 911.

? If a stranger does approach you, run and tell a parent or adult immediately.

? If the stranger or his vehicle still is nearby, point him or his vehicle out to the adult.

? Have the adult call police and remain with you to give information to officers.

? Provide any description of the stranger or his vehicle to police.

"Children should do exactly as these two (brothers) did," Bruce said. "Get away and tell their parents. They should never go to a stranger in a vehicle or a house."

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