FRANKLIN (Somerset) — Police presence was stepped up in this Central Jersey town after two children said they were approached by a suspicious man driving a black pickup truck.

Franklin Police (Franklin Police)

A 13-year-old boy said a man offered him a ride as he walked home from Franklin Township Middle School in Somerset on Thursday afternoon, police said. The boy ran home and reported the incident to the school's Resource Officer the next day, adding that a 12-year-old female friend had also been approached by black pickup with tinted windows.

The driver was described by the boy as an African-American man in his 20s.

The girl confirmed that she has been approached about two weeks earlier on Franklin Boulevard and said a similar looking man, who she said had facial hair, offered her a free cell phone.

In a notice on the district website, Director of School Management Orvyl Wilson said the incidents present an opportunity to discuss how to deal with strangers "and the importance of looking out for the safety of others as well."

Franklin Township Police Chief Lawrence W. Roberts said patrols were increased in the area of incidents. Parents were also notified by the school.

Roberts asked anyone with information about these cases to call police at 732-873-2300.

Police in neighboring East Brunswick continue to investigate a possible luring incident in which the driver of a white van offered a child a ride home on Wednesday afternoon in the President’s Streets neighborhood along Old Stage Road. C

ontact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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