Suspicious Clown Offers Candy To Young Boys

POSTED: 10:17 AM MDT Apr 25, 2012    UPDATED: 01:34 AM MDT Apr 26, 2012 

Idaho Falls police said they received a report of three suspicious males, one wearing a clown mask, driving in a red SUV, offering candy to two 8-year-old boys.

The boys were approached on Moonlite Drive and Morningstar Lane.

The boys did not respond to the trio, but went home immediately and reported Monday's incident to a parent.

Giovi Castillo, also 8, said one of the boys is his best friend. After he heard about the incident, Giovi has been having trouble sleeping.

"I was afraid that he might maybe, maybe steal someone around the neighborhood or something," said Giovi. "I don't know. I'm kind of just a little scared, maybe. ... I'm not going down Moonlite anymore because it's a little busier street than these ones over here."

But for Giovi, the fear remains. His father, Vani, said it makes him nervous, too.

Paul Murray of the IFPD said that when the sun comes out and stays out, kids are out more often, and caught in "stranger danger."

"It's important that they know when they're out in the neighborhoods that they're aware of who exactly their parents would allow them to take rides from," said Murray.

Police know little about the SUV and its occupants. If you have any information, call Public Safety at (208) 529-1200.

Officers said the boys acted appropriately, and Giovi said he knows what to do if he finds himself in that situation.

"Not to talk to them and not to take rides from them," he said. "I would have done the same thing as my friends, just run."

But the IFPD said not all children know how to handle a situation like that.

?It?s never too early to start talking to your children about personal safety,? police said in a news release Tuesday.

Police said the summer season can expose children to safety risks. Here is what they said children need to know:

-- Neighborhood boundaries and whose homes they may visit.

-- Who to call and where to go in an emergency.

-- Their full names, address, and telephone number(s).

-- To keep doors locked and not open the door if they are home alone.

-- Not to approach a vehicle or accept a ride from anyone without your permission.

-- To avoid pools and other bodies of water without adult supervision.

-- Their curfew, and to call you if they will be late.

Here is what Idaho Falls police said parents need to know:

-- Supervise children at malls, movies, arcades, or parks.

-- Choose and screen babysitters with care.

-- Before enrolling your children, investigate day cares, camps and summer programs thoroughly.

-- Always listen to your children.