CHAMPAIGN -- An unnerving incident has happened again. A girl walking home after being dropped off by a school bus was approached by a stranger.
It happened on Park Lane in south Champaign. Authorities aren't calling it an attempted abduction, but say it's suspicious. WCIA-3's Jessica Shaw heads out to the area where a lot of kids live.
You can tell just by looking around here, parents don't want to take any chances. Fast cars used to be the biggest problem on the street.
"Our major concern is this is like a racetrack."
But, never did Larry Ohlsson think he'd now be watching out for this man. Here's a sketch of what the suspect may look like. Deputies say he was spotted in this street Monday afternoon.
"We've never had any issues here, and to have this happen all of a sudden, I guess reality check."
The 7-year iold girl was dropped off by the bus. She was walking home when the man tried to flag her down. She ran home and called her mom who then called the police.
"The suspect, we don't believe, said anything, but the fact the person opened his car door and motioned her to come over, so we're taking it very seriously until we know otherwise."
Since September, there have been more than a dozen different attempted kidnappings. This map shows it's not just Champaign. There have been reports from Urbana to Decatur.
"Some of them are probably situations that are genuinely suspicious or, but the botton line is the kdis are doing what they're told and they're going home and contacting adults."
Adults, like Ohlsson say they'll be watching a little closer.
"I'm going to make sure I'm out here when the buses come home. If I'm here, I'm going to come out and make sure everything's okay."
The girl is fine, but her mom is a little shaken up. Authorities say the suspect is anywhere from his late teens to early 30's, with dark hair. He was last seen wearing a red shirt and navy blue hat. He was driving a blue, four-door sedan. Anyone with information is asked to call police.
In light of all that's happened since the start of school, WCIA-3 News is teaming up with state police to help parents and kids. We're also joining forces with the Safe & Sound Program.
Starting October 15, we'll be offering safety tips you may not have seen before, all designed to keep kids out of the hands of trouble.
Original: 10:48 am
CHAMPAIGN -- Officials are looking for a man who approached a 7-year old girl Monday afternoon. It happened just after 3:00 pm near Park Lane and Bedford Drive.
The girl told police a man in a dark blue, 4-door car opened his door and asked her for help with his cell phone when she got off her school bus. Investigators say it may have been an "innocent encounter" so the man is asked to contact police.
He's in his late-teens to early 30's, has brown hair, and his complexion suggests he's of Hispanic or Asian descent. He was wearing a red shirt, and blue baseball hat.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers. You can remain anonymous and may earn a cash reward.
Champaign County Crime Stoppers
(217) 373 - TIPS
Text: Tip397 + info to CRIMES (274637)