Suspicious man in white pickup has South City neighborhood on edge

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ST. LOUIS – People in the St. Louis Hills neighborhood have been on the lookout for a suspicious man in a white pickup. A father whose son was approached by the man said, “It’s odd. It’s an odd behavior that really sends up the warning lights that something’s going on.”

The parent does not want to be identified. He said his 10-year-old son and the boy’s 10-year-old friend were sitting at table outside LeGrand’s Market Monday afternoon when a stranger in a white pickup walked up to the youngsters and gave each of them $5 to buy ice cream at Ted Drewes. The parent added, “This is a very weird thing for someone to do. I hate to say that for someone to come up to two boys and try to give them money for no reason someone they didn’t know.”

He said if the boys had followed through and got some ice cream it’s likely they would have headed down an alley with high fences. The parent said, “There would be nobody to see anything they could have been people grabbed.”

Or he feared the man could have had a long-term plan, “Maybe he was trying to groom them…maybe next time it escalates into something else.” Parents and kids in St. Louis Hills are on the lookout for man and the white pickup. Cherie Massmann has children, “My radar’s always up a little bit I’m always aware of my surroundings and I want my kids to be.  I’ve always taught them to be aware of their surroundings.”  Her daughter added, “I think it’s a little stranger and scary.” Residents said police are investigating.