Investigation launched after suspicious man seen outside West Allis schools

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WEST ALLIS (WITI) -- Suspicious activity outside some West Allis schools has prompted a police investigation. Teachers say they saw a man taking pictures of children on the playground -- according to documents obtained by FOX6 News.

A search warrant says the man was spotted taking pictures at two schools on the same day. Then, a third school -- Franklin Elementary School called police to say the suspect description sounded familiar.

This has parents on alert.

"You gotta be aware of yourself, be aware of your surroundings, aware of who to go to in the school, who to talk to immediately," Tim Karth said.

The search warrant, which was filed last week, says police got calls from Madison Elementary School and Lincoln Intermediate School back on September 13th to report a man snapping pictures of children on the playground from the sidewalk.

"It was surprising -- especially with it happening two weeks ago. I would have thought they would have let us know about something like that," parent Dominick Fabrian said.

According to the search warrant -- teachers at Lincoln Intermediate told police the man had a large telescopic lens, and when they approached him, he drove away.

At Franklin Elementary, the principal recognized the man and told police he once asked about becoming a tutor.

In the documents, police say the man may have a troubling interest in a nine-year-old student at Franklin Elementary.

Police say the man tried to get information about the girl from Franklin School, had been spotted in school hallways outside classroom hours, and kept contacting the girl, despite her mother's requests that he stop.

Police searched the man's home -- removing CDs, DVDs, memory cards, a computer, and a flip phone.

FOX6 News was able to reach two of the schools. Officials there say while staff was notified, parents were not.

The school district says its response was quick, and says the district worked well with police.

Police say the investigation is ongoing.