Police will step up patrols in Greerton after a 9-year-old boy says he was followed home by a strange man "with scary eyes".
The boy's mother, who did not want to be identified, told the Bay of Plenty Times her son first noticed the man after he left his after school care on Kiteroa St, Greerton at 5.25pm. "He heard a man get out of a car and felt he was following him, he freaked out and started walking fast and then started to run and the man sped up too."
The man followed him to Morland Fox Park but stopped following her son because another car with someone in it was in the area, she said.
The mother said her son walked home after school about three times a week. Their home was only a short distance from the school.
"I pick my other children up from childcare at 4.30pm but my 9-year-old loves the things they do at after school care so doesn't want to leave at 4.30pm so we agree (at) 5pm he can walk home."
Her son lost track of time on Friday after watching a movie and did not leave the centre until 5.25pm, she said.
He found a gate he usually walked through had been locked and so had to walk the long way home. "He turned around from trying to get through the gate and as he was walking he heard a car door open and shut so he looked back and there was a tall man covered in all black, black pants and top and he had scary eyes."
The mother said her son was really scared when he got home and she had been on the phone to the after school care to find out why he was late.
"He's not a scared kid, he's not usually worried about people so for him to be scared told me there was need to worry," she said.
Tauranga South police Sergeant Chris Summerville said no similar incidents had been reported in the area but there would be more patrols.