Police report several incidents of teen girls being lured

Police aren’t sure if a string of incidents in which men have tried to lure teen girls in Southwest are related.

According to a Minneapolis Police Department news release, on four separate occasions in May, 13-year old girls were the targets of luring.

Here’s a timeline of events, according to police:

–       On May 2 at 58th and Lyndale a white man aged 40 to 45 approached a 13-year-old girl, said hello and tried to block the girl’s path. The girl ran away. The man was driving a white or cream-colored cargo van with no rear windows. He’s described as 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 11 inches and was wearing a gray and white winter jacket with khaki pants.

–       On May 5 at 36th and Zenith three white men approached a 13-year-old girl on foot. One suspect grabbed her wrist and told her to be quiet or else she would be hurt. The girl ran away. One of the suspects was described as having a muscular build. No vehicle was involved.

–       On May 13 at 41st and Dupont, a 13-year-old girl was walking her dog when a passerby noticed the girl was being followed by white Toyota Camry with Colorado license plates. There was no description of the occupants and they did not make contact with the girl.

–       On May 16 at 54th and Lyndale, a white cargo van with chipped paint pulled alongside two 13-year-old girls. One of the men in the van opened the sliding door and asked the girls to come inside. The girls ran away. The van did not follow the girls. The driver is described as a white man, 20 to 25 years old. The passenger was mixed race or a light-skinned black man also 20 to 25 years old.

Police also have received reports that a white man in his 50s with a medium build has been seen loitering around 58th and Wentworth, possibly taking photos of children. The behavior occurred from May 13 to 17.

Crime Prevention Specialist Amy Lavender said the victims were all different girls; in other words, the same girl wasn’t targeted more than once. 

Police are investigating all of the incidents and don’t yet know if they’re related because of differing vehicle and suspect descriptions. Officers are patrolling the area on foot and bicycle and neighboring police departments have been notified.