Man tries to lure children into truck with strawberries

Man tries to lure children into truck with strawberries (Image 1)

The Bedford County Sheriff's Office is continuing to search for a man who reportedly tried to lure children into his truck by offering them strawberries late last week.

The incident occurred near the intersection of Hill and McKinley streets in Wartrace, about 60 miles of east of Nashville on Friday.

Detectives said the man approached two groups of children, asking both if they liked strawberries and then to get into his personal truck.

Police said some of the children's parents involved in the incident notified authorities.

Evelyn Cox said her 12-year-old son Joseph was playing with friends when the man driving a red pickup truck approached them.

“He was asking the kids ‘Do y'all like strawberries? I got some fresh strawberries,” she told Nashville's News 2, adding, “The kids said, ‘Yeah' and he said, ‘Do y'all want to get in my truck and go for a ride?' and they said, ‘No.'”

Cox said luckily her son and his friends were able to escape unharmed.

“I told him bluntly about the possibility, even out here in this environment, strangers can stop and they'll try to get you in the car and if they take you there's a good chance you'll never see your family again,” she said.

Authorities are investigating leads, actively patrolling the area in marked and unmarked cars, as well as investigating nearby registered sex offenders.  

“Even a small town is going to have a handful of registered sex offenders and I know our area does,” Sheriff Randal Boyce said.

The suspect is described as an older man with gray hair. He was last seen driving a red pickup truck.

Anyone with information on the incident is urged to contact the Bedford County Sheriff's Department at 931-684-3232.

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