A stranger approached a two-year-old boy outside a Hartlepool school and offered him sweets before running away when the child’s parent became aware.
The incident took place on Thursday at 3.15pm near to the rear gate of Stranton Primary School, at the junction of Stockton Road and Russell Walk.
The man approached the child and offered him chocolates and sweets, which he said were in his car.
The child’s parent, who was tying their own shoelace at the time of the incident, took hold of the boy and the man ran off down a nearby alleyway.
The parent was left extremely shaken, but no one was hurt.
The man is described as in his 30s, of skinny build and speaking with a foreign accent.
Police are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the incident or may have information regarding it to contact PC Julie Nicholson on the non-emergency 101 number, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.