HOWELL — The Howell police are investigating an incident on Tuesday where a strange man reportedly gave two young girls "Christmas gifts" before their mother came to confront him.

It was one of two reported incidents this week involving men in vehicles approaching children on the street. The other incident happened in Union County.

The Howell incident happened on Tuesday afternoon when police say a man approached the two girls while they were playing in their front yard. The man, according to police, offered the girls "Christmas gifts," including giving the 11-year-old an Amazon gift card and a coloring book while her 8-year-old sister was nearby.

While the girls were talking to the man, police say their mother came out of the house and saw what was happening. When the man saw the mother, police say he sped off without taking back the gifts. The woman called police to report the incident and gave responding police the items the man had given the girl.

Police said there did not appear to be any attempt to abduct the children.

The Howell officers were unable to locate the man or the car, but the vehicle is described as a newer model Hyundai Sonata, possibly with a Delaware registration.

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact Detective Janet Benitez or Detective Cpl. Nancy Carroll at 732-938-4575. Information can also be submitted online through the department's tip line.

The Berkeley Heights Police Department also reported a possible child luring event on Wednesday morning. Police say a 12-year-old girl walking to school was approached by a man driving a black, Nissan-type car that may have had tinted windows.

In the Berkeley Heights incident, police say the man offered the girl a ride to school. The girl said no and ran away, according to police.  The man is described as Hispanic, in his late 30s, with slicked back black hair and a tattoo on the right side of his neck. He was wearing a red Cincinnati Reds shirt.

Police in Berkeley Heights are asking anyone with information about the incident to call Detective Jason Massimo at 908-464-1111.

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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com

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