Police seek man who tried to lure 3 girls in Wissinoming

Three 10-year-old girls reported being watched or approached by a man in his car around James J. Sullivan Elementary School.

By William Kenny

Philadelphia police are trying to identify a man who they believe tried to lure three Wissinoming-area schoolgirls into his car on Friday after approaching other children in various parts of the Northeast earlier in the week.

Friday’s incidents occurred on the 5300 blocks of Jackson and Gillespie streets, as well as the 4900 block of Ditman Street. All of the locations are within blocks of the James J. Sullivan Elementary School.

One 10-year-old victim told police that she was walking on Ditman Street at about 8 a.m. when a man pulled up to her in a black car, showed her money and a camera and asked if he could take her photo. The victim ran to school and told adults what happened, police said. She described the suspect as Hispanic with black hair, a beard, a black shirt and a black car with tinted windows.

About 10 minutes later, a man in a similar car approached another girl, 10, on Gillespie Street, showed her money and a camera and asked to take her photo, police said, citing the victim’s statement. The victim ran about two blocks to Sullivan School and told adults of the incident, police said. She described the man as white, 30 to 40 years old, with a mustache and beard, a black T-shirt and a black car with tinted windows.

A third victim, also 10, reported that she was on Jackson Street at about 8:45 a.m. when a man told her to approach his car where he began unzipping his pants. The victim ran away, made it to Henry W. Lawton Elementary School and reported the incident, police said. She described the suspect as white, 30 to 40 years old, with green eyes, a black shirt, black boots and jeans. He was bald on top of his head but had black hair on the sides. The victim saw no facial hair.

Three other incidents occurred earlier in the week, including one on Thursday just outside Sullivan School on the 5300 block of Ditman Street. At about 8 a.m., a pupil saw a man standing outside the gate taking photos and videos of children in the schoolyard, police said.

Last Wednesday, two students at Watson T. Comly School on the 1000 block of Byberry Road in Somerton reported seeing a suspicious man outside the schoolyard wearing a mask and dark clothing, police said.

The sixth incident occurred last Tuesday on the 400 block of Tomlinson Road in Somerton. Police said a man approached two school children and offered them cash to get into the back seat of his car. The children ran and reported the incident. They described the suspect as Hispanic with short black hair and a black ski mask. He may have been driving a black SUV with a damaged front bumper, a broken headlight, tinted windows, three silver wheels and one black wheel.

Contact the Special Victims Unit at 215–685–3251 to report information about the incidents. Call 911 in an emergency. ••