Police are appealing for witnesses after two teenage boys were approached by a stranger with orange dreadlocks in two separate incidents in Sydney's inner-north west.
A 13-year-old boy was walking home from school along Pitt Street in Hunters Hill at roughly 4.20pm on Thursday when he noticed a man following a short distance behind him.
As the boy started to run away the man chased after him, police were told
The stranger stopped following the boy when he noticed the boy was on his phone, police said.
Two days later another 13-year-old boy was approached by a man on Ryde Road in Hunters Hill, one street away from where the first incident took place.
The man allegedly yelled at the boy, who ran towards his friends. The man then left the area, police said.
The stranger in both instances was described as having the same, very distinct appearance:
He is believed to be about 20 to 30-years-old, 180cm tall with a fair complexion, muscular build and shoulder-length, orange dreadlocks with a beard.
Both incidents were reported to police.
Officers at Ryde Local Area Command are investigating and are appealing for any witnesses who may have seen either incident to come forward.
Anyone with information has been urged to contact Crime Stoppers via 1800 333 000 or Crime Stoppers online.
The incident has prompted police to encourage parents to discuss the 'Safe People, Safe Places' messages with their children, including:
- Make sure your parents or another adult you know knows where you are at all times.
- Always walk straight home or to the place you are walking to.
- Walk near busier roads and streets, or use paths where there are lots of other people.
- Know where safe places are
- If you are ever frightened, you should go to one of these places and ask them to call the police.
- Learn about safe adults you can look for and talk to if you need help – police officers, teachers at school, adults you know and trust.
- Don't talk to people you don't know and never get into a car with someone you don't know.
- If a car stops on the side of the road and you don't know the person inside, do not stop.
- If you are scared and can use a phone, call 000 and tell them you are scared.
- If someone tries to grab you, yell out, 'Go away, I don't know you'.