Deputies: Men trying to lure girl actually church members solici - FOX Carolina 21

Deputies: Men trying to lure girl actually church members soliciting residents

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Deputies say the men were seen in a Mercedes like this one. (Source: Buncombe Co. Sheriff's Office) Deputies say the men were seen in a Mercedes like this one. (Source: Buncombe Co. Sheriff's Office)
ASHEVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina) -

Buncombe County deputies said the men sought for trying to lure girls into their vehicles were actually members of a local church trying to solicit new members.

Deputies said it was reported that at about 7 p.m. Wednesday two men tried to get a child to approach their car along Emma Road. They originally said two girls and a boy were outside when the men tried to lure the girl.

Thursday morning, deputies said it was reported two men approached several girls as they were walking along Riceville Road and the men insisted the girls get in their car, but they ignored them and rushed to their destination.

On Friday, Lt. Randy Sorrells said they had identified the people in the car and determined they were soliciting area residents to join a church. Sorrells said there was no ongoing threat.

Deputies had previously reached out to the public and asked for help identifying the men who they said were driving a black Mercedes-Benz ES 320 with tinted windows and faded or foggy headlights. They said there was no tag displayed on the car.

Deputies said both men were dressed in suits.

Investigators originally believed Thursday's incident may be related to earlier reports, including one on March 12 in the Emma community. In last week's case, deputies said the same men demanded the girls get in their car and said they were driving a white, mid-sized, four-door car.

Lt. Sorrells said the Mercedes and the white car were both owned by the church members.

Deputies say the pastor of the Gospel of God Baptist Church will issue a statement at 2 p.m. Saturday, regarding the reports of suspicious activity directed towards juveniles. Deputies say the pastor hopes that addressing the concerns of the community will bring closure and calm those affected.

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