River Forest police want to warn parents and children of three possible cases of child predation in the village during the past two weeks.
In the first case, on July 10 at about 7:20 a.m., a black man with a light complexion and thick light brown braids, driving a tan or beige four-door vehicle, approached a 14-year-old girl on the 1000 block of Ashland Ave. The girl was walking to Willard Elementary from Chicago and Harlem avenues. The man reportedly asked the girl her name and age before driving off.
The second suspect is a 34-year-old Northwest side Chicago resident whom police say has an extensive criminal record. The man, who has an olive complexion and dark moustache and goatee, reportedly had his shorts unzipped when he pulled over by an 18-year-old girl on the 7500 block of Division at about 8:30 a.m. July 11. He asked the girl if she wanted a ride. When she refused, he drove off, but was stopped by police. The man was driving a red van with firefighter plates, though he is not a firefighter.
Police say they had no grounds on which to arrest the man and let him go.
“He said he just stopped to say ‘hi’ to the person,” said Deputy Chief Kendra Sullivan.
The same man is suspected of following another teenage girl the next morning at about 8 a.m. in the area of Greenfield and Jackson. He was then driving a silver Range Rover with bubble tail lights.
Sullivan is asking parents and children to call police immediately if they think they’ve been followed.
“We’d rather have you call us,” she said. “Get away from them immediately and call us as soon as possible. Don’t hesitate to call us.”