Man attempts to lure women, girls to car

Posted at 11:37 PM, Mar 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-21 08:57:38-04

A suspicious man is approaching young women and girls and trying to convince them to get into his car.

The most recent encounter happened Monday morning in the parking lot of Del Taco on El Norte Parkway at Broadway in Escondido.

Totis Rodriguez was walking to the Del Taco to pick up her mom's car when she says a guy pulled in and asked her for directions to the freeway.

"I was already aggravated cause he blocked my path and I told him which one and then asked 15 or 78 and then he said 15," said Rodriguez.

The next question really startled her.

"And he's like where are you heading? And that gave me the red flag," Rodriguez said. "I said, 'well to school' and then he's like, 'let me give you a ride' and I was like 'no thank you' and then I moved away, and he kept insisting and blocked my way again and he said 'I'll give you a ride there, I'll give you a ride.'"

She said when she took her phone out of her pocket to take his picture he sped off. She described the driver as a middle-aged white man in a red Mazda Miata convertible.

"He burnt tires, he left he took off," said Rodriguez who immediately reported the incident to police. "Children, especially the gullible, innocent children, if you tell them, 'hey come here,'  they'll do what is easiest, they probably just leave."

Last week, a little girl near Mission Middle School was approached by a man asking for directions. The child told her mom he was a middle-aged white man in a red car, possibly a BMW.

"He must be a sick-minded guy, but again unintelligent," Rodriquez said. "But if he's using the same vehicle over and over again, it's like common sense, he's going to get caught."

After 10News aired the story about the encounter near Mission Middle School, Kirsten Rangel said she remembered a similar incident she had last May. Rangel says she was walking on Mission Avenue, not far from the middle school, when a guy in a red convertible approached her asking for directions.

"(He asked) 'Do you know where Center City Parkway is?' I turned around and said, 'it's down that way' and then he said 'do you know where Valley Center is?' and I right away I was like...wait a minute," said Rangel.

She said he tried to persuade her to get in his car.

"(He asked) 'Do you want a ride?' I said, 'no, no I'm OK, I'm walking home,' (and) he like insisted, he said 'no that's OK, I'll give you a ride and I'll drop you off on my way,'" said Rangel.

She called took out her cell phone and called her husband. She says that's when the man made an abrupt U-turn and took off.

"Somebody is out here on the loose, looking for somebody, anybody willing to get in his car," said Rangel.

Police say even though a crime has not been committed, they call the incidents suspicious and are urging people to come forward if they have a similar encounter.