ROCKLAND –– Police are seeking a man who has tried three times to lure students into his van by offering them rides.

The most recent incident was reported Thursday afternoon to Rockland police, when a man driving a white van approached a high school student walking home after a class at University College at Rockland.

The school is located in the Breakwater Marketplace on Camden Street, according to Deputy Chief Chris Young.

The girl refused the ride and walked home, but saw the van in the area after the initial encounter, police said. She reported the incident to the Rockland Police Department’s Facebook page after she returned home.

Thursday’s encounter followed a similar incident about 3 p.m. on Sept. 18 when three men in a white van stopped and asked a young girl walking home on Ash Point Drive in Owls Head to get in the vehicle.

The child ran into the woods and then home. Her parents reported the incident to police.

On Sept. 20, an older man in a white van asked a boy on a bicycle near F&A Market in Thomaston to get into the vehicle. The student rode to Oceanside Middle School and reported the incident to a school counselor.

RSU 13 Superintendent John McDonald issued a statement Friday to parents and the community about the most recent incident.

Young said police will increase patrols around local schools and will collaborate with the district administration to provide assistance to ensure student safety.

The investigation is continuing and police urge anyone with information to contact the department, Young said. He said police also encourage students to walk in groups, in well-lit, high-visibility areas whenever possible.

“If any student is approached by anyone in the manner described above, regardless of what type of vehicle a person is driving, … run away and contact police as soon as possible,” he said.

Comments are not available on this story.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.