STRONGSVILLE, Ohio - A Strongsville mother is warning other parents after two men, who may have been posing as police officers, offered her 11-year-old daughter a ride to school.
The mom asked NewsChannel5 to protect her identity and the name of her daughter, but said, "It's a big deal. Nobody should be asking children to get in their car to go for a ride with them."
The suspicious incident unfolded on Jan. 11 at 8:37 a.m. as the girl, a student at Muraski Elementary School, waited for her school bus at the intersection of Lunn Road and Walnut Creek Drive.
The girl said she was approached by two men in a black sedan, who first asked her if she went to the high school, and then offered her a ride to school because it was raining.
"They said, 'We are with the police department. We'd like to give you a ride. It's raining out and we don't want to see you out here in the rain," the girl's mother explained.
The girl said no. The men drove off after her school bus approached.
After she boarded the bus, the girl sent her mom a text that read, "This guy just asked me if I needed a ride to school, but I said no."
The mother asked for more details and went to the police department to file a report later that day. Strongsville police said they've stepped up patrols at several bus stops as a result of the incident.
Police have not yet located the vehicle or suspects.
The girl's mother said she now drives her daughter to school or waits with her at the bus stop.
"It's very alarming and it's a big enough concern where I think parents should be aware," she said.
William Parker, 34, who lives on Lunn Road, was concerned when he learned of the bus stop scare. His 6-year-old daughter goes to the same school and Parker picks her up at the bus stop each day.
"You wish you could keep tabs on your kids 24 hours a day, but you can't, so it's kind of scary. It is if it's happening in your own backyard," Parker said.
John Krupinski, superintendent of Strongsville Schools, said the district is working with police and taking the incident very seriously.
Krupinski said all building principals are on the lookout for suspicious vehicles and a note to parents will be posted on the district's website on Wednesday.
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