Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's police reporter.

Boys approached near scene of Ranui abduction incident

Two 12-year-old boys were approached by a man and asked to get inside his car in Ranui today. Photo / Nick Reed
Two 12-year-old boys were approached by a man and asked to get inside his car in Ranui today. Photo / Nick Reed

A man asked a 12-year-old boy walking home from school to get inside his dark-coloured ute in Ranui today - the latest report of strangers approaching children in the area.

It has been a week since an 11-year-old boy was picked up by a stranger near the Ranui Train Station and subjected to a four-hour sexual assault before being dropped back off in the area.

The boy has been left too traumatised to speak, meaning little information is available about the offender or the grey-coloured van thought to be involved.

Since the horrific attack, there has been reports of other possible attempted abductions in the area.

Yesterday, an 11-year-old girl was reported to have fled a man driving a dark red or maroon 4X4 at 8.30am while she waited for a school bus on Wairere Road in Waitakere.

The Herald can reveal that this afternoon two 12-year-old boys were walking home on Swanson Rd, Ranui when a man tried to coax one of them inside.

The grandmother of one of the boys, who wished to be known only as Barbara, said they had stopped to get snacks at the Four Square on their way home.

"He said they were walking along and this guy pulled up alongside of the two of them in a black ute.

"They were walking together away from the shops on Swanson Rd and this guy started making small talk."

Barbara said her grandson had a pie but his friend did not want one.

"The small talk was, 'How come you're not sharing the pie with your friend?' My grandson said it was because he didn't want any.

"Then the man said to his friend, 'If you get in my car I'll go and get you a pie."

The boys declined and walked away, she said.

As soon as her grandson told her the story, she immediately called the police.

"It's really concerning because kids that age don't think anything of it, my grandson he didn't want to make a fuss.

"You know, maybe it was just an innocent, random thing but I don't think so. Who asks a little kid to hop in the car? The shop is just there, no one had to get in anyone's car."

Police confirmed they were aware of the report, but said it was too early to say if the offences were related.

Yesterday, police narrowed their appeal for information to focus on any suspicious activity on Swanson and Metcalfe Roads about 4.15pm last Thursday.

Previously, the appeal for information was wider and encompassed the entire 3.55pm to 8pm timeframe of the 11-year-old boy's abduction.

Residents on Metcalfe Rd today spoke of the fear in the community - how they did not let their children walk to school or the train alone, and how they no longer let them play in their front yards or on the footpath.

Police talk to families living on Metcalfe Rd, Ranui. Photo / Nick Reed
Police talk to families living on Metcalfe Rd, Ranui. Photo / Nick Reed

A carer at a home for intellectually disabled residents on the road said he had reported a suspicious incident to police last Friday.

A man in a van had reportedly given one of the residents $70 cash "as a Christmas present".

The man, who did not want to be identified for his own safety, said the incident was unsettling.

"We reported it straight to police, it was a very weird thing to do. Everyone in here is vulnerable and you don't know what that person's intention was.

"We are scared for our clients."

Another resident, who also did not wish to be named for his and his children's safety, said he had reported a "unique looking" grey van to police last Friday.

"I saw it the next day and it was pretty unique looking, that's all I will say."

He reported it to police and they visited his home to ask him more questions about it, he said.

He said one of his children attended the same school as the girl who ran from the maroon 4X4.

"She's 5 and I had to sit down with her and tell her about stranger danger and now she is forced to think about things that little kids shouldn't have to think about.

"That's the hardest thing, taking the innocence away from the kids."

Anyone with information should call police on 021 191 2659, or the anonymous tip line Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 23 Feb 2017 00:25:55 Processing Time: 144ms