PCSO investigating attempted child-luring incident in San Tan Valley

Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is asking San Tan Valley residents to be on the alert after a male suspect attempted to lure a child into his SUV.

The incident occurred Nov. 7 in the North Pecan Creek neighborhood near Gantzel and Ocotillo Roads, PCSO said.

At 3:45 p.m. Nov. 7, an 11-year-old girl was walking with a friend near a park in the neighborhood when a man, driving a white SUV, pulled up next to them, PCSO said in a release.

“The man told the girl that her brothers were in a serious accident and she needed to go with him. The child asked the man what the ‘code word’ was, but he did not know it and drove off,” according to the release.

Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb

“Kudos to the parents of this child for having a code word and talking to their children about stranger-danger,” PCSO Sheriff Mark Lamb said in the release.

“We hope by putting this out, it will encourage parents to have that conversation and create a plan with their children, so they know what to do if they are in that situation,” he said.

The suspect covered most of his face with his hand while talking to the girl to conceal any identifying features. He is described as a white male, possibly in his 40s, with a short beard. The SUV was described as possibly similar to a Ford Explorer, PCSO said.

Children in the neighborhood say they have seen the SUV in the neighborhood, circling the park several times a day, according to the release.

Anyone with information on the incident should call PCSO at 520-866-5111.

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