DARLINGTON, S.C. — An alert school resource officer might have thwarted the abduction of two girls who were walking to Brockington Elementary School on Wednesday morning.

The two girls walking to school were seen by the Darlington County sheriff’s deputy talking to a man in a black four-door newer model Chevrolet Silverado, according to the sheriff’s office.

The deputy motioned the girls to continue on their way to school and questioned them about the man, whom they described as being black with dreadlocks. They said he had previously spoken with one of their mothers who was walking with them at that time.

“The male driver circled back around and approached the two students who were by themselves at this point. Both stated the driver told them to get into his vehicle and he would take them to school,” Lt. Robert Kilgo wrote in a media advisory. “The mother was contacted, and she indicated to the deputy the male driver commented on her appearance and asked for her name and phone number, then drove off. The mother stated she did not know the male driver.”

Deputies and Darlington police officers searched for the car and driver but were unable to locate him.

“The safety and security of our children and schools is my No. 1 priority,” Darlington County Sheriff Tony Chavis said. “I commend my deputy for remaining vigilant, and I ask parents and others to report any unusual activity around our schools to law enforcement immediately.”

This incident remains under investigation.

Anyone who has any information is asked to contact Darlington County sheriff’s investigators at 843-398-4501 or Crime Stoppers of the Pee Dee at 1-888-CRIME-SC or visit p3tips.com. You can also submit tips through the agency’s mobile app; text “DCSO” to 95577 for a link to download. You do not have to reveal your identity to leave information.

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