Sunday 24 September 2017

Garda probe after boy (9) is 'offered sweets to get into stranger's car'

Garda checkpoint
Garda checkpoint
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

A YOUNG boy was allegedly approached by a motorist and twice offered sweets to get into the man's car.

Neighbours in Applewood, Swords, have been urged to remain vigilant after the nine-year-old claimed he was approached at the kerbside.

A garda spokesman told the Herald that an investigation has been launched into the incident, which happened at around 7.30pm last Sunday.

The boy was smart enough not to get into the car when the man drove alongside him.

He claimed he was first approached and offered sweets in the estate when the driver pulled up beside him, but he walked away in the direction of a group of adults.

However, he said he was approached a short time later and immediately ran to a friend's house in the estate to raise the alarm.

His friend's mother contacted gardai after she managed to catch the driver's registration plate, which was foreign.

Gardai said no arrests have been made, and that officers are working to establish if the incident was a genuine abduction attempt or if there is an innocent explanation.

They have decided against releasing a description of the car or its registration plate for the time being.

The last time there was a major child abduction scare in Swords was in April 2011, when four alleged attempts were reported in one week.

The cases all involved inappropriate approaches towards children being made by men.

grab

In one incident, a man blocked a footpath with his car and tried to grab young girls in the Swords Manor area.

Three similar incidents were reported in the River Valley area around that time.

Officers investigating the incidents made no arrests, and reports of alleged abduction attempts eased off.

However, there was one further alleged attempt in May that year.

Again there were no arrests.

hnews@herald.ie

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