Boynton Beach police are adding extra patrols after they said a man tried to lure a 13-year-old girl into his car after the child got off the bus.
Parents there are also changing their routine following the news.
Preston Fooks is on the 4:40 p.m. bus that stops everyday at the corner of Chapel Hill and Fernwood
It’s one of the rare times he has a ride home.
“I feel safer with my stepdad,” he said.
“Normally, I mean it’s quiet. We live a block down the street. It’s light outside. It’s a quiet neighborhood. He’s never had a problem here before,” said his stepdad, Marcus Hook.
Around 4:40 Tuesday afternoon, Boynton Beach Police say a man driving a newer model black pickup truck, asked the girl “how much would I get for $200?”
“Essentially soliciting this little girl,” said BBPD spokeswoman, Stephanie Slater.
She told him she was 13 and that she didn’t know him. Then the man tried to take off his seat belt, before she threatened to call police. The man drove off, police say.
“We’re urging parents to discuss the situation with their children,” said BBPD Officer Rachel Baldino.
“It’s important. It’s an everyday life skill just like anything else,” said Sherry Thomas, who owns Palm Beach Etiquette and Life Skills. She teaches a class designed to protect kids against approaching strangers.
“If you teach your children a certain group of commands, they will issue this command and suddenly on lookers will start taking action. The commands are very simple: “call the police. I don’t know him. He’s not my father,” she said.
Marcus Hook has the talk with Preston. But today, he not taking any chances.
“His mother is a little nervous right now and I’m a little nervous right along with her, yeah I can say that. Yeah, absolutely,” Hook said.
Sherry offered up a lot more advice for families that they can use, she says predators look for people walking, looking down at their phone.