ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. – The St. Augustine Beach Police Department is investigating reports of women accused of trying to use ice cream to lure children into a car.
The Police Department on Wednesday released a photo of a silver car described as a 4-door Honda that they believe the two women were driving.
Police said officers were called Tuesday to Lakeshore Drive in St. Augustine Beach in reference to a child who was approached by the women in a small silver car. The child went home and told his parents about what happened.
“It’s alarming. The neighborhood, we’ve had more children moving into it,” said Matt Ollis, a neighbor. “We do have some teenagers, but majority are under 10.”
A similar incident occurred Dec. 29 with other children in the neighborhood, police said. In that incident, according to police, a different pair of women approached children in a small silver car and offered them ice cream, but the children were never lured into the vehicle.
Tim Connor told News4Jax his two sons, ages 7 and 9, were riding on scooters when that incident happened and they took off when the women tried to offer them ice cream. Connor said he called police the next morning.
“Absolutely concerned,” Connor said. “It’s very disappointing. You have to look at your kids and tell them they’re not allowed to go outside without grown-ups.”
Police have increased patrolling in the community filled with young children after the second incident happened Tuesday.
“Parents need to have this conversation with their children. They need to be careful they need to walk in groups, do not go off the beaten path,” said News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson. “If you have walkers or children that walk to the bus stop, I would encourage parents to walk their children to the bus stop.”
Anyone with information is urged to call police at 904-471-3600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.