Stranger danger warning; boy, 10 approached in Woonona

A 10-year-old-boy was approached by a man in a van while walking home from school in Woonona on Friday.

The boy was walking along a footpath on Woodland Avenue about 3pm when the man yelled out to him from a red van.

The van stopped across the road and the man again yelled out to the boy before driving off.

The boy continued walking home and told his mother what happened, who then contacted the police.

Wollongong Police Inspector Phil O'Neil said the man was described as Caucasian with a tanned complexion, about 35 years old and with hairy arms, a beard and dark brown hair. He was wearing a faded blue T-shirt and had a small hoop earring in his left ear.

The van was described as having a dented driver's door, a broken side mirror and a yellow sticker with writing on it. The interior of the van was described as black and red striped.

The incident follows an attempted abduction in Woonona on May 7 when a man called out to a seven-year-old boy on Pioneer Drive, asking him to get in his car.

The boy ran home and told his mother.

The man was described as Caucasian in appearance, about 30 to 40 years old, and clean-shaven. The vehicle of interest is described as being a red or brown small, four-door sedan.

Insp O'Neil said the descriptions of the two men did not suggest the incidents were linked.

He reminded parents to speak to their children about "stranger danger" and what to do if someone they don't know approaches them.

Anyone with information call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


Police are encouraging parents to discuss the ‘‘Safe People, Safe Places’’ messages with their children, including:

Make sure your parents or another adult you know knows where you are at all times.

Always walk straight home or to the place you are walking to. Walk near busier roads and streets, or  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 triple-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.


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