Gatineau is on guard after two separate incidents where a man tried to lure young children into his car.

Gatineau police said a young girl was volunteering as a crossing guard near a school on Rue de l'Atmosphere on Sept. 14 when a man in a dark van pulled up and aggressively asked her to get in.

The next day, four children came running to Francine Lusignan's door in the same neighbourhood.

"There was a suspicious car on the side of my fence calling them to the car," she said. "It's very scary because we don't know what's going on."

Gatineau police said they aren't calling it an abduction attempt because they don't want parents to think someone is physically grabbing children off the streets.

Still, they said children shouldn't be playing alone outside.

"I don't see a difference (in calling it an abduction) because the fact that they're trying to lure them," said parent Frank Musulinaro. "We know the act that they want to do is remove them."

Parents in the area say they're writing down license plates of unknown cars that drive through the area and talking to their kids about staying safe.

"Since this is happening, I don't think she'll play outside anymore," said Peter Magquala of his daughter.

Gatineau police are describing the suspect as white, bald, about six feet tall and wearing dark clothing at the time.

They have increased their presence in the neighbourhood, with marked and unmarked cars regularly patrolling the area.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Stefan Keyes