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Parents in Rochester worried after three attempted child lurings in one week

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ROCHESTER, Wash. – Authorities in Thurston County have warned parents that here have been three attempted child lurings in Rochester just this week.

The students were all approached by strangers in cars, as they waited at their bus stop. None of the students were harmed, but parents are worried it could happen again.

“Oh, it scared me to death. I was totally freaked out about it,” said Sabrina Renfro. “The one this morning was actually just two blocks away.”

“It’s kind of scary,” adds Rose Ebeling, “especially with it being so close to home.”

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office say three boys, between the ages of 13 and 15, have been approached this week. Each case happened in the morning before school.

“It’s very unusual for a community like ours,” said Rochester School Superintendent Kim Fry. “I’ve never in our history known for us to have three situations like this in a week.”

The students involved reported different suspects and vehicle descriptions. But they were all told they had missed the bus, and then offered a ride.  School officials are glad none of the students got into a stranger’s vehicle. But they say there’s something to be learned from these cases.

“The first couple incidents, students didn’t tell an adult until they got home after school,” said Fry. “That puts law enforcement and school officials at a major disadvantage.”

The schools have been going over safety messages this week. They’re encouraging parents to do the same at home.

“I let my boys know do not get into any rigs with strangers that they don’t know,” said Ebeling.

“I take my daughter to and from the bus stop,” says Renfro. “She doesn’t like it, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.”

Thurston County deputies will be stepping up patrols before and after school for the next few days. And bus drivers have also been asked to be on the lookout for anyone or anything suspicious.

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