SAN CARLOS PARK, Fla. - Neighbors on Matanzas Road in San Carlos Park are keeping a close watch for any suspicious cars roaming the streets.
"Some people seem to have lost all their senses," neighbor Duane Sams said. "Moral standards are going down the tube in a lot of places."
Deputies say, Wednesday afternoon, a 14-year-old girl walking home from school got some unwanted attention. She says a four-door light green or teal car rolled up. The driver, who she described as a light-skinned Hispanic male offered her a ride home. When she refused, said says he opened the door. That's when she ran to a neighbor's house and called 911.
"It's scary," a neighbor named Amanda said.
But, she isn't surprised. That's because she's been followed herself.
"I have been stopped walking home, twice at night," Amanda said. "They were pretty persistent."
Just three weeks ago, a similar incident happened a few streets away on Lee Road. An 18-year-old girl reported that two Hispanic men in a truck tried to lure her in, even chasing her until she hid behind a dumpster.
"Anyone can be a victim," Tiffany Sherry with the Lee County Sheriff's Office said.
That's why LCSO is teaching women, young and old, how to react. It's called S.A.F.E. - Self-Defense Awareness and Familiarization Exchange.
"You're going to learn the way that the criminals actually might attack you in different ways," Sherry explained. "We teach girls how to punch, how to kick, how to grab and give them a way out. They need a way out."
With that sense awareness comes new confidence. "When you leave that class, you will never look at a bush, a car, something that might conceal something else the same way again," Sherry said.
If you want to learn more about the S.A.F.E. course or want to schedule a class, call LCSO Community Relations at 239-258-3280.