FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ – Police are investigating two possibly related luring attempts targeting middle school students during the last two weeks, officials said.

According to police, a 13-year-old male student reported to school officials that he was approached by a black pick-up truck with tinted windows Thursday while walking near the Franklin Middle School on Francis Street.

The student told police he ran home after he was offered a ride home from an African-American male between the ages of 20-30 while walking near the building. 

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He also told police that a 12-year-old female student had a similar encounter with the same vehicle.

The Middle School's Resource Officer contacted the female student and she said that two weeks ago she was also approached on Franklin Boulevard by a black pick-up truck with tinted windows. 

She told police the African-American male driver that approached her was about 30 years of age and had facial hair, and that he asked her if she would like a free cell phone.

The female student did not report the incident to anyone until today, according to police. 

“The safety of our community, especially our children is paramount," Chief of Police Lawrence W. Roberts said in a statement. “We are in constant communication with school administrators and are utilizing all resources at our disposal to ensure the safety of the students."

According to police, patrols were increased in the area using personnel from the Patrol Division, Investigative Division, Crime Suppression Unit and Neighborhood Police Team. 

The investigation is ongoing, police said. 

Residents are urged to report any suspicious activity to the police immediately.

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact the Franklin Township Police Department at 732-873-2300

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