Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Nine-year-old escapes kidnap attempt

A BALACLAVA-clad man has attempted to pull a young Sydney girl into a van near her school, the latest of a string of similar abduction attempts.

Police are urging parents to teach children about "stranger danger" after four recent attempted abductions across the city, three involving men in white vans.
The latest incident occurred about 3.20pm (AEST) yesterday, soon after school hours, as the nine-year-old girl was walking along Rhoades Lane in Auburn, in Sydney's west.
The girl was on her way to meet her father when the masked man grabbed her, police said.
"A man approached the girl and after a brief comment attempted to grab her by the wrist," NSW police said in a statement today.
"The girl has told police that she was able to push the man who overbalanced and fell."
A second man then drove up in an older-style white Toyota van and called for the other man to get in.
The van drove off and the child, who suffered superficial arm injuries, ran back to her school.
While door-knocking in the neighbourhood, officers were told of an unreported incident that occurred on September 12, which also involved a man in a van.
Police say the man was described as white or European in appearance, with a skinny build and dark blue eyes.
The man involved in yesterday's incident wore a white T-shirt, black dress pants and shoes. He wore a balaclava and had dark hair on the back of his hands.
Police have revealed a similar incident in the city's south on September 3, when two men in a white van pulled up alongside a 14-year-old girl on Holbeach Avenue at Tempe and unsuccessfully attempted to pull her inside.
Police are also investigating reports two men in a grey four-wheel-drive, possibly a Jeep, attempted to abduct two young girls in Blacktown, in the city's west, on September 12.
The girls, aged 11 and 12, were walking to their primary school about 9.10am when the vehicle pulled up beside them and sounded its horn.
The girls ran off when one of the men stepped onto the footpath after gesturing for them to get in the vehicle.
Superintendent Brett Henderson today urged parents to reinforce the message children should be wary of strangers.
"I urge parents to regularly speak to their children and remind them of the dangers of speaking to strangers whilst walking to and from school," Supt Henderson said.
"Make sure your children are familiar with the surrounds and discuss safe places they are able to go to if they encounter these unfortunate situations."


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