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Deputies: Stranger in beat up car ‘laughed and smiled’ before offering kids ride

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. -- Authorities have stepped up patrols after three children said they were approached by a "suspicious" man at their bus stop in southern Stafford County Thursday morning.

Three middle school-aged boys were waiting for the bus at the intersection of Hartwood Road and Reserve Way when a man drove by "laughing and smiling at the boys," according to Stafford Sheriff’s Office deputies.

"A few moments later, the male subject returned and stopped in front of the bus stop. He rolled down his window and asked the boys if they had missed the bus," officials said. "The male subject then told the boys to get in his vehicle and he’d drive them to school."

When the children refused and started to walk home, the man again asked them to get into his car, deputies said.

"He told the boys not to be scared," deputies said. "The subject then exited his vehicle. At that point, the bus began to approach, and the subject got back into his vehicle and sped off."

The children told their parents about what happened later that day. Then the boys' parents contacted the sheriff’s office.

Officials described the suspect as a black male in his 30s or 40s with a graying beard and bad teeth.

He was wearing a white baseball cap and was driving a beat up silver four-door sedan with "numerous dents and discoloration," according to deputies.

Officials said the incident remains under investigation.

Anyone with information on this incident or similar incidents is urged to contact the Stafford Sheriff’s Office at 540-658-4400.

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