Sarasota officials looking for man who tried to lure boy into vehicle

SARASOTA -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is searching for the man who tried to lure an 11-year-old boy into his vehicle as the child walked home from Phillippi Shores Elementary School in Sarasota Wednesday afternoon.

The suspect was headed northbound on Riverwood Avenue when he stopped to ask the child if he would help him find his missing bunny rabbit. The student did not answer but showed the man his cell phone, which apparently made the man drive away, according to a news release.

The vehicle is a white mid-size SUV that is missing the passenger side mirror; the rear passenger tail light did not work and there was damage to the driver side rear quarter panel; hub caps were missing from the driver side and passenger rear tires; and the vehicle had a dark colored license tag and a brown bumper sticker with “Texas” written in white, according to the sheriff's office.

Anyone with information can call 911 or the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office non-emergency number at 941-316-1201.