By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
The mother of a student who saw news reports of attempted lurings in Rochester called the sheriff’s office last night to say she was the woman in the black sport utility vehicle from the incident on Monday morning at the school bus stop.
She was speaking to her son.
“There was another juvenile standing nearby and her son was a short distance away,” The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office stated in a news release. “She asked her son if he missed the bus and she was told by both boys that they had not missed the bus.
“When asked if they wanted a ride to school, both declined.”
Two more times this week, deputies took reports from different teenage boys who said a motorist stopped and offered them a ride to school, prompting alerts from the school district.
The first incident, involving the black SUV, was reported by a 13-year-old boy to his mother later that night, and to the sheriff’s office the following day.
Each happened between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.
Extra patrols were out and will continue to roam the areas, as the second and third instances remain under investigation, according to sheriff’s Lt. Cliff Ziesemer.
Another 13-year-old on Wednesday morning described how he was walking along the 7500 block of 198th Avenue Southwest when a black four-door car driven by a scruffy-faced man wearing a baseball cap pulled alongside him and asked if he wanted a ride to school.
“Student told him no and the driver asked a few more times until the student cut through the woods,” the sheriff’s office states.
And then yesterday, a 14-year-old was waiting for his bus at the 8500 block of 183rd Avenue Southwest when a black car pulled up and the driver, who sounded like a woman, asked if he’d missed the bus and offered a ride. He told her no and he walked away.
That car was described as having a loud muffler and annoyingly blue headlights.
The dark and fog prevented the boys from getting good descriptions, according to the sheriff’s office.
Ziesemer said that in his 30 years of experience, the vast majority of what are reported as attempted lurings turn out to be something innocent, involving a misunderstanding or miscommunication. And it’s often another parent just offering a ride, he said.
However, the sheriff’s office reminds students:
• If possible, stay in groups while at school bus stops.
• Do not approach any vehicle or person that you are unfamiliar with.
• If a vehicle stops near you and someone talks to you who you are not familiar with, walk in the opposite direction.
• Then, as soon as possible, tell an adult, such as a parent, school bus driver or teacher.