Lehigh Valley

Bethlehem police warn residents to look out for attempted kidnapper

"Always be prepared in case it happens."

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Bethlehem police say they're on the lookout for a man who's trying to kidnap high school and college students.

The same man apparently has tried to do it a number of times including two times on Tuesday.

Investigators say an 18 year-old Moravian student was walking on Monocacy Street when the man approached her and asked where she was going.

He touched her arm, then grabbed her hand and wouldn't let go until she started screaming.

"I don't feel unsafe," said Moravian College student, Victoria Kauffman. "But I would prefer to walk with someone else or always be prepared in case it happens."

The goal of course, is that it doesn't happen again.

Detectives say the first incident took place before 10 a.m. Tuesday.

When the female student started screaming the man ran to a light blue older model car and fled the scene.

"It's kind of scary knowing that could happen around here, especially like in the morning," said Danielle Petrovik, after hearing about the incident via an email from the college.

Then around noon on Tuesday the Bethlehem Area School district called police to say a Liberty high school student was approached by a man in the area of Pine and Fairview streets.

This time the man stayed in his car and had a verbal interaction with the student.

When she pulled out her cell phone, the man drove off.

"It's not new but it's also still a surprise," added student, Britney Blaise.

Investigators say they are looking for a black male, 5'10", medium to heavy build, and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.

Bethlehem police also say there have multiple reports of similar attempted lurings and the light-colored sedan.

"Got to be prepared for things," said student Hailee Yoder. "Got to be ready just in case anything actually does happen. So it's good to know, so we're ready to look out for this guy."

In an email from the college, students at Moravian we're told to be aware of their surroundings and not to walk and text.

If you have information about the case, call Bethlehem police at (610) 865-7187

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