Several teenagers in Haute-Savoie have been approached by a man asking them to get into his vehicle, Annecy’s public prosecution service has warned.
“Over the course of the last two weeks, incidents of a similar nature have been brought to the attention of the Haute-Savoie gendarmerie,” the service said in a statement released alongside Grenoble’s prefecture.
“On several occasions, an individual appears to have suggested that pupils get into his vehicle, without trying to force them,” the statement added. The incidents all happened near schools in the area.
An investigation has been opened and the maison de protection des familles family liaison department in the town of Annemasse is working to “welcome families, assist in gathering the children’s testimonies and analysing the facts.”
The public prosecution service has assured that currently “no link exists between the different reports” and that initial enquiries into one incident have led to the formal identification of a driver who “did not have malicious intentions.”
It also said that one of the reports was later proven to be erroneous.
However, “a widespread monitoring and surveillance system has been deployed by the gendarmerie, under the authority of Haute-Savoie’s prefect and in conjunction with the director of departmental education services and school headteachers.”
The statement also appealed to parents and children to be vigilant with regards to “potentially suspicious behaviour, especially in close proximity to places frequented by young people.
“If in doubt, it is important to report incidents immediately to the gendarmerie or the police by ringing 17, and not to spread rumours which could compromise the search for the truth.”