Attempt to lure Whangarei boy into bush

By Mike Dinsdale

Whangarei police want help to find a man whose behaviour they describe as sinister after he tried to lure a 12-year-old boy into bushes while on his way to school.

Acting Sergeant Natasha Waterhouse of Whangarei police said the boy noticed a man in bushes on the walking/cycling track between Whangarei Boys' High and Whangarei Intermediate schools about 8am yesterday. Ms Waterhouse said the man, believed to be aged between 30 and 40, tried to lure the boy into the bushes.

The boy refused and reported the incident when he got to the intermediate school, which then called police. Officers quickly descended on the area around the walking/cycling track and Rust Ave to try to find the man.

Ms Waterhouse said police were unable to locate him and wanted help from the public to find him. She said police were concerned about the sinister nature of the man's actions.

Whangarei Intermediate School principal Hayley Read said the school was concerned about the incident and had reinforced safety messages to its children and would also notify parents.

"We have reiterated [to the students] again not to walk on the bike track before or after school," Ms Read said. "We encourage our students to use the main roads and to walk in groups so they are not left in an isolated situation."

The boy was praised for his prompt action in reporting the matter, which enabled police to get to the area quickly to look for the man. He was described as Maori, of medium height and skinny build. He was wearing a black beanie and a blue sleeveless jacket, with a green long-sleeved top underneath and black or blue track pants.

Anybody who may know who the man is, or who saw anybody fitting that description in the area around the time should contact Whangarei police on 4304500 or anonymously on the Crimestoppers freephone line on 0800 555-111.

- Northern Advocate

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