Teens misinterpreted request to get in car

Police are asking Facebook users to show restraint after a premature post about a Mosgiel driver asking teenagers to get in his car turned out to be a parent and his son.

Police received a report that a stranger had asked a school pupil to get in to his car in Factory Rd at 3.15pm on Tuesday, Senior Sergeant Anthony Bond, of Dunedin, said.

A Facebook post was made about the event by a parent, who said their child was "asked to get into a stranger’s car", with a description of the vehicle.

Police located and identified the driver, who was "just a father yelling out to his own son", Snr Sgt Bond said.

The boy was behind the group of pupils, who misunderstood the situation.

"It was just interpreted the wrong way."

Police became aware of the Facebook post and contacted the poster and asked them to remove it, he said.

"Police ask for some restraint when posting on Facebook about matters to ensure that they are investigated first."

Screenshots had been taken of the post and subsequently shared, which police had less ability to control.

A message was also sent out to parents of Taieri College to warn them of the event.

Principal Dave Hunter said "we received information late this afternoon that some of our students were approached by a stranger in a car".

"The students did the right thing and did not respond to the person’s request to get into the vehicle.

"Students will be reminded at school tomorrow to avoid any approach from strangers, and it would be helpful if this message was reinforced at home."

On Tuesday police urged the community to be "alert but not alarmed".

"While we can understand this sort of incident can cause concern, we would urge the community to be alert, but not alarmed," a spokeswoman said.