Suspicious characters in black hooded jumpers have been preying on Pakenham school girls as young as 13 while walking to and from the train station.
A 17-year-old girl encountered a suspicious character on her way home from Pakenham train station last week.
She was on the phone walking south from the train station about 4.15pm on Monday 22 August when she noticed a man following her.
“He was walking behind me at first, then I slowed down to let him pass while I was on the phone,” she told the Gazette.
“Then he was walking ahead of me and kept turning around to look at me every five seconds. I turned a different direction and he completely stopped, just looking at me.
“He was acting really strange, taking his jumper off and putting it back on again about eight times while standing there staring at me.”
She was able to eventually slip away from his line of sight on Main Street where there were more people out and about.
But the 17-year-old spotted the same man at Pakenham station again two days later while getting off at the platform.
“It looked as though he had got off the train because he was amongst the crowd of passengers and I noticed him behind me. But thinking about it afterwards, I wasn’t sure if maybe he was already waiting there at the station,” she said.
“I was a bit wary because I’d seen him before. I walked home a different way but he appeared at the corner where I needed to turn and started taking his jumper on and off again.
“I was pretty scared.”
The man was described to be of African appearance and was dressed entirely in black on both occasions; the first time in a black hood and the second time wearing a longer black jacket.
In another incident, on the morning of Monday 22 August, a 13-year-old girl walking through streets towards Cardinia train station noticed a man peering in to a car, but she kept walking.
The man continued to look at her and, feeling somewhat spooked, she decided to abort her journey to the station and instead walked back home in a different direction.
When she turned around, the suspicious character was with another two men.
The 13-year-old ran off as soon as the men lost sight of her and the incident was reported to the police.
The first man was described to be of African appearance, 6 foot tall, skinny build with a white T-shirt and black hoody.
Another was Caucasian, medium height and build, with a chubby face and brown hair shaved on the sides. He also had a red backpack, muddied pants and a black hoody.
The other man was described as African, large masculine build, with white dirty shoes and a black hoody.
Police did not have evidence as to whether these incidents were related.
Anyone with information or those who have had a similar experience have been urged to contact Pakenham police on 5945 2500.
*The school girls’ names have been withheld from the article to protect their identities.
Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.