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Police: Stranger offered ride to young girls in Albany
ALBANY -- Letters were
sent home with students Tuesday afternoon after a stranger offered a ride to
two elementary school girls. Its the second reported incident in a week where
young girls have been approached by a stranger.
Police say two girls were walking home on Arbor Drive on Monday when a man in a silver van offered them a ride. They declined and ran to their older brother nearby. The three then told their parents who called police.
It's more shocking now to know that there's someone trying to get these young children that come here every day for school. They shouldn't have to worry about someone trying to take them from a safe environment because this is where they're supposed to feel safe, said Alicia Boutrin, a Step coach at Arbor Hill Elementary School.
Last week Jayshawn Owens was arrested for flashing two girls walking to Myers Middle School. Owens has a lengthy arrest record for crimes related to inappropriate acts. In both cases, police credited the students actions.
It's quite evident the students are learning about crime prevention in vital safety because in both incidents the students have done exactly what they have been instructed to do, said Ofc. Steve Smith with the Albany Police Department.
During after-school step practice at Arbor Hill coaches reinforced lessons about what to do if a stranger approaches.
We try to let them know
to walk in groups. If you see anyone following you call 911, scream. We went
through it upstairs. Right now we're not letting them walk by themselves we're
going to take them home and hopefully all the parents do because this is scary,
said Asst. Coach Casey Reyes.
Police did not have a usable description of the suspect in Mondays incident. Owens remains in custody at the Albany County Jail and is due in court on Wednesday.