Suspicious behavior by adults involving children
The first incident occurred Wednesday December 14th, 2011 at 2:55pm in the area of Madison and First Streets. An 8-year old boy, who was just dropped off from a school bus, was approached by a female pedestrian who asked if the child was “Jasmine’s son,” and directed him to “come with her.” The woman advised the child it was for “his own safety.” The child’s adult caretaker witnessed the interaction from her nearby residence and intervened by telling the child to come to her. The suspect turned and walked away once the adult caretaker intervened. The physical description of the suspect is a dark skinned African American female, approximately 5”1” tall, medium build, wearing black jeans and a red hooded sweatshirt under a black jacket, no other physical descriptors are available. In addition she was carrying a green cloth Tompkins County recycling bag.
The second incident occurred on Thursday December 15th, 2011 at approximately 8:00 am at the school bus stop in the area of Cleveland Avenue and Plain Street. During the incident a female child was waiting for the school bus when a vehicle traveling southbound at a slow rate of speed on Plain Street, passed the girl, stopped, then backed up and the driver asked the girl if “she wanted a ride.”
An adult in the area shouted to the girl and told her not to get in the car. The vehicle then left the area south bound on Plain Street. The vehicle was described as a tan colored hatchback, possibly a Subaru, occupied by only the driver who is described as a middle-aged white male with gray hair. The car was equipped with a pet barrier separating the rear passenger compartment and the cargo area. A large German Sheppard dog was observed in the vehicle.
Police are asking for assistance from the public in identifying the child from the December 15th incident as well as identifying both suspects in these incidents.
In each case, neither adult made any physical attempts to forcibly take control of the children.
The Ithaca Police Department reminds parents and caregivers to discuss issues of personal safety, “stranger danger” with their children and to contact the police immediately regarding suspicious activity.
Both incidents are under investigation and police ask that anyone with information contact the IPD at 607-272-3245 or 607-272-9973.