Two cases of stranger danger in St. Charles County

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. - Police in O'Fallon and Lake Saint Louis are investigating two cases of stranger danger in a week.

Thursday morning, police say a stranger tried to lure a Lake Saint Louis boy into a pick-up truck using candy.

Tuesday evening, police say a strange man approached Amanda Taylor's 6-year-old daughter and her friend on Cinnamon Teal Drive in O'Fallon. The girls ran home.

"When she came to the house she said someone asked her if they wanted candy and I just thought she was exaggerating because we've talked about it before," said Amanda Taylor. "And it was just a relief just to know that she did the right thing."

The suspect was a man in his late teens or early 20s, wearing a red baseball cap, and driving a gray four-door sedan. Taylor's daughter was one of the girls in that group the man approached.

"We live in a relatively safe neighborhood and you kind of let your guard down," she said.

But Thursday, only about 15 minutes away, Lake Saint Louis police responded to a similar call on Shire Drive.

"The boy immediately notified his parent once he was approached. We're glad to see that he reacted appropriately and glad to see that nothing happened," said Lake Saint Louis Assistant Chief Chris Digiuseppi.

The boy's mother says he was on his front porch to let his dog out when the men pulled up heading in the wrong direction. One got out of the truck and stood on the sidewalk, attempting to lure him with candy.

"He stated that the suspect was in a bright red pickup truck, had some kind of dark cover over the bed," Digiuseppi said.

Besides the vehicle, the suspect description is almost identical to the O'Fallon case. Laura Ochs lives down the street. The little boy is friends with her 9-year-old son.

"We always talk about never approaching vehicles," said Ochs. "We use a buddy system in our neighborhood. The children are never outside by themselves. There's almost always at least one parent watching at all times."

Police aren't sure the two are connected. But Amanda Taylor isn't taking any chances.

Lake Saint Louis police say there was a second man in the truck Thursday. Anyone with information can call police in O'Fallon, Mo. or Lake Saint Louis.


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