Evanston police are asking the public’s help as they investigate two incidents in which strangers offered young girls a ride to school this week.

Police Commander James Elliot says the first incident occurred about 7:45 a.m. Monday at Chancellor Street and Broadway Avenue in north Evanston.

A girl who attends Haven Middle School said a man and a woman, both appearing to be about 50 years old, drove up to her in a silver-colored car as she left home and the man asked if she’d like a ride to school.

She said no and left to meet some friends and walk to the school, where she reported it to school officials who called police.

Today about 8:20 a.m. a girl walking to Kingsley Elementary School was approached by a similar-looking couple in a similar vehicle at Foster Street and Brown Avenue in west Evanston.

This time the woman in the car asked if she wanted a ride. The girl said no and walked away.

Police say that in both incidents it appears the strangers didn’t get out of the car or attempt to follow the youngsters.

The subjects in the car are described as white, with gray or white hair and wearing glasses.

Their car is described as a 2000 or newer, 4-door passenger car with rust or discoloration over the right rear fender area.

Elliot says police will increase uniformed and plainclothes patrols around schools in response to the incidents.

He said police are asking residents, parents and school officials to contact police immediately if suspicious persons are seen around schools or parks or are seen watching or following children.

Persons with information are asked to call the police department’s juvenile detective bureau at 847-866-5050.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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