Parma Heights stranger attempts to lure kids into truck

PARMA HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - Parma Heights police are searching for a man officers said tried to entice three middle school-aged children into his pickup truck.

Police said it happened around 3:30 p.m. Friday in front of the Parma Heights Library on Pearl Road.

Thankfully, the kids didn't listen to the man and got home safely, but the news of the incident scared many parents in the area.

"Oh my God. I couldn't believe it. I can't believe that there's still people trying to do that here in this community," said Melanie Liptay. "It's very frightening. It breaks my heart. I want to die. It's absolutely horrid."

Police said the three kids, who are between the ages of 11 and 12, were walking home from Greenbriar Middle School when a stranger in a silver and white pickup truck told them he'd drive them home.

"Unfortunately, it's the world we live in these days. You've got to take precautions. Don't let the kids out by themselves and keep an eye on them," said Rob Jarzembak.

Jarzembak said he rarely lets his kids out of his sight. "They're either with an adult or, at the very least, with a very large group," he said.

He said he tells his kids to never trust strangers and he taught them what to do if someone approaches them.

"To make a lot of noise and make distance, that's the best thing to do," Jarzembak said.

It's advice, Liptay also told her two young kids. "We just actually had to tell them about bad men and women that can kidnap you and that can take you and you just never, never go in the car with them, ever," she said.

Liptay said the recent scare in Parma Heights serves as another reminder to talk to her kids about staying away from strangers.

Parma Heights police said they want the community to watch out for a middle-aged man, possibly in his 50s, with balding, gray hair. He's heavy set with a scruffy beard. Police said the truck is an older model silver and white pickup with a cap on the back.

If you know anything, call Parma Heights Detective Wittasek or Detective Berry at 440-884-1100.

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