HOWELL TOWNSHIP - A Tuesday after-school encounter, between a stranger and two children, resembles a child-luring attempt strongly enough for police to seek the suspect, and also witnesses.

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Officers arrived on Pitch Pine Lane at about 4:45 PM on December 12. They were told that as the youngsters, age 11 and 8, played in their front yard, a man drove up, stopped, and asked them if they wanted "Christmas gifts," police said.

Through the car window, he handed them an Amazon gift card and a coloring book. Then, as their mother emerged from the house, he sped away, police said. The "gifts" are now evidence as police search for the suspect.

He is described as about 30 years of age, with a "light brown" skin tone that suggested a Hispanic or Middle Eastern heritage. Police did not say whether he spoke with any discernible, comparable accent.

The vehicle is described as a black, newer-model Hyundai Sonata, believed to bear a Delaware registration, on which the first digit might be "D."

Information about this case can be e-mailed to Detective Janet Benitez or Detective Corporal Nancy Carroll, or phoned to 732-938-4575, extension 2884/2885. Information can be submitted through the Howell Police Tip Portal.

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