Alert after man tries to lure Seaham girls into his car

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PARENTS have been warned to be vigilant after mystery drivers approached schoolgirls walking home.

The girls were today praised for alerting police after two incidents in which they were urged to “get in the back” of cars.

The incidents happened within hours of each other in Seaham as the youngsters headed home.

Neither involved any physical contact from the men, but police investigating the attacks have urged the community to be vigilant and ensure parents keep their children safe.

In the first incident, outside Parkside Community Centre in Heathway, two 13-year-old girls were shouted at by two men in a white Renault Megane Sport.

When the driver of the car, aged in his 30s, called out and asked them to “get in the back” one of the girls screamed and the vehicle then drove off.

Two hours later, a 12-year-old girl was walking home from a friend’s house and had reached the end of Northlea Road, near its junction with Durham Street, when a small black car slowed down and pulled up.

The man inside, described as wearing gold chains and listening to music, shouted to ask if she was 13 and said “come here”, but she continued on her way.

In both cases the girls told their parents what had happened and police were contacted.

House-to-house inquiries and searches of the estates have been carried out, with CCTV footage also being reviewed.

Sergeant Jim Peel, of Seaham Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “In both of these incidents the girls deserve praise for telling their parents and helping us.

“In the Heathway incident, the girl screamed, which is obviously why the occupants of the car drove off.

“However, there have been not offences committed, they have not been touched or hurt in any way, but we want to reassure the public we are investigating these incidents.

“We are carrying out a number of checks as part of inquiries.

“If the public could be vigilant and if anyone’s got information, we would ask them to get in touch with Crimestoppers or ourselves.

“As always we would ask parents to make sure they know where their children are at all times.”

The first incident, in Parkside, happened at 7pm on Wednesday, August 31, and the second in Northlea at 9.15pm.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham