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Sheriff's Office arrests man accused of approaching a teen three times, asking her to get in his car

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Posted at 4:52 PM, Jan 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-09 17:52:29-05

RACINE COUNTY — A man is in custody after the authorities say he tried to get a child into his car earlier this week.

Officers say the young teen was walking home from Burlington High School on Monday when a car approached her. The man inside the vehicle motioned for her to get in, but she refused.

After her refusal, the vehicle pulled away and circled back. The driver again motioned for her to get in his car. She refused to get in. This proceeded to happen once more before the teen finally arrived home.

When the girl got home, she informed her parents of what happened and they contacted the Racine County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities say while following up on a tip, they learned 48-year-old Michael Crane owned the suspected vehicle authorities were able to grab on surveillance video. Officers then made contact with Crane at his home, interviewed him, and subsequently took him into custody.

"The arrest we've made today is a grim reminder of the reality of the reality our youth face," said Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling.

The Racine County Sheriff’s Office is working closely with the Racine County District Attorney’s Office in this ongoing investigation.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), over 1300 cases of attempted abductions were reported in 2019. You can keep your child safe by keeping the lines of communication open and ongoing. The most common lures used in attempted abductions are:

  • Offering a child a ride
  • Offering candy or money
  • Asking the child questions
  • Using an animal to interest a child, such as a lost puppy

Personal safety rules:

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Don’t appear distracted, put your phone away
  • Take a friend when possible
  • Don’t be afraid to tell people “NO” and run away
  • Call 911 and/or tell a trusted adult immediately
  • Run to a populated place if possible

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