Lake Illawarra police have raised the alarm after a spate of child abduction attempts in Dapto, Horsley and Warrawong.
At this stage, police are not treating the cases as linked. However, Lake Illawarra’s Inspector Matt Glasgow said the sudden spike was worrying.
‘‘It’s obviously a concern ... but there’s nothing for police to believe they are one person,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve got a set criteria when we attend these jobs and how they’re investigated, but we are aware of the increase.
‘‘[Parents] just need to know where their kids are and ensure their safety.’’
About 6.30pm on Sunday, a 15-year-old boy was walking on Heininger Street, Dapto, when a man described as having a solid build and aged in his 50s approached him in a silver car.
Insp Glasgow said the man wound down his window and offered to give the boy a lift. The boy refused, and the man drove off.
In a separate incident, a man driving a car approached three girls near Warrawong High School on Tuesday morning. About 6.30pm the same day, two boys were approached in Armitage Avenue at Horsley by a man in a white four-wheel-drive offering lollies. The boys declined the offer and the man drove off.
Police said the man was aged in his 60s and driving a white ute.
Meantime, a 10-year-old boy was approached by a man in a car on Parkside Drive in Dapto at 3.30pm on Tuesday.
Police said the man tried to speak to the boy but the boy became frightened and rode away on his bike.
The man was described as Caucasian, aged in his 20s or 30s with facial acne.
He was wearing a baseball cap and a white singlet.
The vehicle was described as a silver station wagon, with two black stripes on the side with NSW registration plates including the letter ‘‘A’’.
A NSW Department of Education and Communities spokesman said when there were reports of children being approached, nearby schools were advised so they could alert families.
‘‘Schools regularly reinforce stranger-danger messages to students in classrooms and assemblies,’’ the spokesman said.
Anyone with information should contact Lake Illawarra Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
What to tell children
• Make sure your parents or another responsible adult know where you are at all times.
• Always walk straight home or to the place you are heading. Walk near busier roads and streets, or use paths where there are lots of other people.
• Know where safe places are – a shop, service station, police station, library or school. If you are ever frightened, you should go to one of these places and ask them to call the police.
• Learn about safe adults you can look for and talk to if you need help – police officers, teachers at school, adults you know and trust.
• Don’t talk to people you don’t know and never get into a car with someone you don’t know. If a car stops on the side of the road and you don’t know the person inside, do not stop.
• If you are scared and can use a phone, call tripe-0 and tell them you are scared.
• If someone tries to grab you, yell out, ‘Go away, I don’t know you’. This lets other people know you have been approached by someone you don’t know.