A man in his mid-30s was reportedly seen around Reiche Elementary School this week, attempting to lure children to his vehicle, according to police. Credit: CBS 13/WGME

PORTLAND, Maine — Police are investigating reports of a suspicious man who may be trying to use a dog to lure children away from a Portland elementary school.

Portland Police say they responded to Reiche Elementary School on Brackett Street around 9:10 a.m. on Wednesday after a parent who was dropping off their child reported seeing a man with a dog interacting with a student in an area just off school property.

The man was reportedly heard trying to coax the student away from the area and into a car by saying he needed help with his dog.

Police say the student refused and ran inside of the school. The man realized the parent was watching and quickly walked away. Police were not able to find him.

The school learned that the man may have been near the school on Tuesday afternoon as well.

Officers and school personnel have been increasing their presence during the school day.

The white man was described as tall and thin, scruffy looking, in his 30s and was wearing a black beanie, police said. The dog was gray and medium-sized with white spots. He was last seen in the area of Pine St. and Brackett.

Investigators are urging anyone who has any information to call Portland police at 207-874-8575.

Parents are encouraged, when possible, to drop their children off at safe locations within the school property. This is also an opportunity to remind your children to use caution around adults they don’t know.

“Due to the seriousness of this report, we ask you to reinforce to your child the importance of staying alert and vigilant when out in the community. We are committed to the safety and welfare of our students, and will continue to keep you informed when incidents like this happen in our community,” a letter sent to parents said.