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Oct 22, 2012 7:41 PM by Matt Stafford

More on stranger danger incidents in the region

Parents are understandably tense following the murder of ten-year-old Jessica Ridgeway in Westminster. In the days since, we've had reports of strangers trying to lure children in southern Colorado.

Colorado Springs police are looking for a burgundy truck after Friday, at the Classical Academy near Northgate and Voyager, a nine-year-old child was approached by a man; asking the kid to help him find a lost puppy. That child walked away and told their mother.

The most recent incident was Sunday in Woodland Park. Investigators say an eight-year-old boy was approached by a man driving a newer model blue Jeep Wrangler. The man, with a long bread down to his chest, asked the boy to get in the vehicle near Forest Edge Circle.

In that Woodland Park neighborhood, Forest Edge Park, neighbors are nervous and keeping an eye out for anything suspicious.

"It's terrifying," says Stephanie Montgomery, a parent who lives just around the corner from Sunday's incident in Woodland Park.

Montgomery's thinking about, what if that eight-year-old had gotten in the car with that stranger Sunday? Luckily he ran to the neighbors who called police.

Since then it's been the talk in Woodland Park.

"Trying to describe him and describe the car he was in to help each other just put out the word," says Jan Rains a neighbor who works in child care locally. She's heard a lot of talk from local mothers.

"It's like a ghost town," Montgomery says, while pointing out to News 5 where the close call took place.

"150 yards; two(hundred) maybe," says Montgomery. "We kept getting texts and phone calls last night like crazy."

It was just neighbors spreading the word to watch out.

On Monday police several tips are coming in.

"Myself and a detective have been working on it, and I, myself, have taken probably 10 (tips), and I know he's taken equally as many," says Officer Sean Goings with the Woodland Park Police Department.

They're on the look out for anything suspicious, and neighbors are too.

Woodland Park and Colorado Springs police are saying the same thing; since the Jessica Ridgeway murder they haven't necessarily had more calls on suspicious circumstances, but they have had more requests of school resource officers to help watch out and talk to kids.

Police say any tips with these cases help, no matter how insignificant they may seem to you. However, of course the more specific you can be -- even taking pictures with your phone -- is more helpful to them.

Here are some specifics on this Woodland Park case. The front passenger seat on the newer-model two-door Jeep is torn up. The jeep also has a roof rack on top. The back seat was folded down or missing at the time, and there's damage to the passenger side door handle. If you know anything, please call Woodland Park police at 719-687-9262.

As for specifics on the incident at the Classical Academy in Colorado Springs on Friday, police say the truck was an older model extended-cab, possibly a Ford. It's burgundy in color and has a two-inch white stripe running down the driver's side of the truck. If you know anything on this situation, please call Colorado Springs police at 719-444-7000.

 

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