MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash. - Police are searching for a suspect in an attempted luring of two girls in Mountlake Terrace.
Officials said an 11-year-old girl was recently contacted on social media by someone she didn't know who claimed to be a 14-year-old boy. The two agreed to meet at Mountlake Terrace Elementary School, located at 22001 52nd Avenue West.
The girl took her 12-year-old friend with her for the meet-up. The boy, identified as "Jo Jo" in the press release, arrived in a light-blue sedan. He is described by officials as a white man in his 20s with facial hair. The man reportedly attempted to lure the two girls into his car.
The girls refused to get in and the man left in his car briefly, but then returned and circled the parking lot before leaving the area, the press release stated. The suspect has not been identified.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Detective Sergeant King at (425) 670-8260 and to call 911 if the light-blue sedan is spotted.
Mountlake Terrace Elementary Interim Principal Stephanie Paolone sent parents this message Monday evening:
"Dear MTE families,
We are writing to inform you about a cyber safety incident that occurred during the evening of Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. At approximately 6:30 p.m., two of our students were on school grounds using the Snapchat app on a mobile device. The students were chatting on the app with a stranger who claimed to be a 14-year-old boy. He then came to our campus to meet up with the students. When he got out of the car, it turned out he was an older man. The students ran away, hid and then called the police, who responded immediately. We were made aware of the incident by the families of the students involved and the Mountlake Terrace Police Department. The investigation is ongoing at this time as police search for the unidentified man.
As a school community we take student safety very seriously. We annually teach digital citizenship (which covers cyber-safety and cyber-bullying) to all our students. This year we are also inviting a police officer who works in the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force department to come speak to our older students.
We also encourage families to have a conversation about cyber-safety/cyber-bullying with your children. Please see the links below for resources you can use to facilitate this conversation:
- Introduction to Digital Citizenship slideshow to review at home.
- Common Sense Media has an entire website dedicated to providing resources for families to help with Digital Citizenship at home.
- School Board Policy for Electronic Information Systems.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us."
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