Safety

Orcutt parents on edge after 5th grade student says man tried to lure her into car

Suspect and vehicle description released

Orcutt parents on edge after 5th...

ORCUTT, Calif. -  UPDATE:  SUSPECT AND SUSPECT VEHICLE DESCRIPTION RELEASED

The suspect is described as a white male adult with a medium build wearing jeans and a dark colored t-shirt. He was wearing a blue baseball cap, had glasses and was clean-shaven with collar-length grey hair, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

The suspect is said to have been driving a white, four-door sedan.

If you have any information regarding this case, you are asked to contact the Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division at 805-681-4150. To leave an anonymous tip, please call 805-681-4171.
 

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Shock and outrage from Ralph Dunlap Elementary School parents Wednesday, as news circulated two fifth graders reported a man tried to lure one of them into his white sedan.

"It's very scary.. it can happen anywhere," said mom Linda Ruiz. 

"I just can't believe that the guy. I don't know if it's the same guy from a couple months ago but it's just unbelievable," mom Jessica Marshall said. 

Public Information Officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office Kelly Hoover tells us the man yelled to one of the girls from his car. "She heard a male subject who was inside a vehicle, say to her: "Do you want a ride? I have candy." The student went to school and reported what had occurred. [Once] the Sheriff's Office was contacted, sheriff's deputies responded and are currently investigating the suspicious circumstances," Hoover explained. 

School administrators are commending the girls for coming to them after this happened. Ralph Dunlap Elementary's Principal, Joe Schmidt, said in a letter that went out to parents: "I want to applaud the girls for the bravery and awareness in how they handled the situation.  This situation should serve as a reminder to speak to our children about the importance of safety when walking to or from school."

For mom Jessica Marshall, she says after this incident her son is no longer walking to the school without her. "It'll just take a few extra minutes - it won't change anything in our routine. I just know they'll be safe so that's what matters," she said. 

And for mom Linda Ruiz, she says they have a plan in place in case someone else has to pick up her son from school. "I tell them if I'm not gonna come, this the person you go to and if you don't [see them], go to the office and call," Ruiz explained.  

For parents who do have kids walking to school, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office recommends having them always walk with a buddy, having the child memorize their route and always report anything suspicious to an adult. 


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