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Another abduction attempted in Hastings

For the second time in a month, a Hastings family is left asking questions after an unknown vehicle approached its children and struck up a conversation with them. While the children in this case were not asked to get into a car, the actions of its occupants had their parents "disgusted."

At 7:42 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 21, Amy and Andy Peterson reported their two children were approached by an older model truck with a maroon top and a silver bottom. The man and woman inside told the two Peterson children that they wanted to be their friends. The driver asked the two what their names were, and where they lived.

The family lives at the intersection of Fourth and Ashland streets.

Last month, in the 400 block of West Third Streets, the driver of a newer SUV/crossover vehicle tried to lure a young boy to his car so that they could go to the park. The two homes are just a block apart.

When that incident occurred in July, it prompted the Petersons to sit down with their children and talk about strangers. That made this week's events even more troublesome for the family, Amy Peterson said.

"I told him about how he shouldn't be talking to strangers," she said. "He said, 'But mom, he told me he was a good stranger and he wanted me to be his friend.'"

When Andy Peterson saw the truck had summoned his children over, he walked toward the truck. It then sped off. He was not able to get the license plate number, but did note it had Minnesota plates.

"It was really frustrating," Amy Peterson said. "It's the second time in this neighborhood that something like this has happened in a short amount of time. We have talked to the kids zillions of times about not talking to strangers. Yet, my son still told them what his name was. It showed me how easy it was to convince them to talk to them.

"I was just really disgusted that this happened. I'm thankful Andy was out there with them."

The Petersons filed a police report and the Hastings Police Department is investigating the matter.

Chad Richardson is editor for the Hastings Star Gazette.