14 Nov 2008

Students warned to ask truancy officers for ID

4:03 pm on 14 November 2008

Police investigating a sex attack on a schoolgirl in West Auckland are warning students to ask for proof of identification from anyone claiming to be a truancy officer.

The 15-year-old was assaulted after being lured into a car on Tuesday by a man who told her he was a truancy officer.

Detective Sergeant Steve Salton of Henderson police says students need to be sure they are in fact dealing with a truancy officer.

The girl was walking home along Hobsonville Road when the man picked her up in a white station wagon, telling her he would have to take her home to ensure she was not skipping school.

Detective Sergeant Salton says the man seemed calm in his approach and police are concerned that he could strike again. He is described as a stocky to fat Polynesian, aged in his 40s, with very short hair.

Police conducted traffic stops in the area on Thursday afternoon to try to identify the man responsible for the attack.

They have held a more in-depth interview with the schoolgirl and say they have collected useful information from their checkpoints.

Calls from the public are continuing to coming in.

They say 600-flyers have been handed out to motorists, and the girl was able to provide a more detailed description of the man who took her.

Police say the man took the girl's blue backpack.

Better description

Meanwhile, police in Auckland have a better description of the man who is believed to have tried to snatch two girls near the Richmond Road primary school on Sunday.

They say the man grabbed and threatened a 13-year-old, and minutes later a 10-year-old in a nearby street.

The man is described as a Maori or Pacific Islander, of medium to solid build and with wavy or bushy medium-length dark hair.

He is about 1.85 metres in height, in his late teens to mid-20s and was wearing white shoes, a brown zip-up jacket and dark trousers.

Police say he may have been loitering in the Grey Lynn Park area beforehand.