JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is asking for the community’s help in identifying a person believed to have attempted to lure teenage girls into his vehicle on two occasions.
Police say in one instance, a sexual assault occurred.
Officers say the incidents occurred on the Westside.
In the first incident, JSO says an 11-year-old victim was walking in the area of Chaffee Road and Old Plank Road. As she walked towards her home, police say a red vehicle reportedly drove up from behind and stopped next to her.
Police say the driver began a conversation with the victim in attempts to lure her into his vehicle.
The vehicle was described by police as a newer model, red 4-door crossover or SUV type vehicle with no window tint on the front windows. There may have been a dent on the front corner of the driver’s side of the vehicle.
It's possible the pictured vehicle is the Mazda CX-5 pictured below.
During the second incident, JSO says a 16-year-old female victim was walking in the Jones Road and Garden Street area. As she walked, she says a red mid-sized vehicle reportedly drove past her, turned around, and approached her.
The driver began talking to the victim, and she says she immediately turned to leave the area. As she did, she heard footsteps coming from behind her as the suspect reportedly grabbed her and forced her into the vehicle.
Police say she was unable to escape the vehicle due to the interior front passenger door handle being missing.
JSO says the victim was taken to a nearby park where she was sexually battered by the suspect.
The victim believed the vehicle to be a sedan type vehicle, possibly a Chevy Impala or similar vehicle.
JSO says in both instances, the suspect was described as a mixed or bi-racial male, with a deep voice and green eyes. He was further described as being tall, lean and muscular with black, wavy and slicked back hair.
The suspect was also said to have tattoos on his left arm that appeared to be a dragon and roses. In the instance his clothes were visible, JSo says the suspect was wearing a black t-shirt, black pants, red “Nike” Air Force Ones and a “blingy” gold belt with a large buckle containing diamonds.
Anyone having any information on either of these crimes is asked to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500 or JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org.
To remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward of up to a $3,000, call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
First Coast News crime and safety analyst Mark Baughman gave the following tips to help prevent crimes like this from happening to you.
"First foremost secure your residences. Don’t leave doors unlocked or sundown to include vehicles. As for the neighborhood, anything that is out of the norm it should be noted and reported law enforcement. Especially any suspicious individual(s). It doesn’t necessarily have to be a red car. Any individual and car that isn’t or doesn’t fit in."
He continues, "if someone engages you, and you don’t know them. Avoid having conversation with them. You don’t need to be impolite, but be mindful of their motives. Immediately report the contact to a parent or guardian. Put yourself in a position where you can walk away or run away quickly. Never get close to the vehicle or get in the vehicle.
He says neighbors should look out for adolescents at all times especially when they are unaccompanied and not with a guardian or parent.
"A lot depends on how well the neighbors know one another. To include a vigilant neighborhood watch program," he explains.