Log In

Reset Password

Man suspected of luring children in Cortez; police urge parents to be wary

A man reportedly approached children twice on Tuesday, offering them money. (Cortez Police Department)
The man is still unidentified by police

The Cortez Police Department on Wednesday reminded parents to talk with their children about risks of speaking with strangers after a man reportedly attempted to lure students with money near Kemper Elementary School.

According to a police alert that the Montezuma-Cortez School District forwarded to students’ parents, children were walking home from a summer school session at Kemper when they were approached by a truck that pulled next to them on the west side of the school building.

A man reportedly leaned out of the truck and offered the children cash, asking them to come over to his truck. They declined.

After failing to lure the children to his truck, the men took two $5 bills, rolled them up, and threw them toward the children. After the money landed on the grass in front of the children, the truck then reportedly drove off as the man said, “God bless.”

The children picked up the money and told their parent, who called the police. Earlier that day, police received a call that a man was behaving similarly on foot. The man has not been identified.

Police encouraged parents to have conversations with their children about what to do when they are approached by strangers.

“The promise of money, puppies, gifts or candy can be irresistible to children. Please have open conversations with them that include the difference between someone they know and someone they don't,” police said in the alert.

Police also urged parents to warn their children about the danger of picking money or other items up off the ground that could be tainted with “deadly fentanyl powder or accepting pills that look like colorful candy.”

If children are uncomfortable calling 911, they can also text 911 in case of an emergency.

“Make a game out of describing what people are wearing or how tall they might be and if they have a beard, glasses or colorful hair,” police said.

Parents can also put the police department’s phone number in their child’s phone for easy dial. That number is (970) 565-8441.