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Summit County on Lookout for Attempted Kidnapping Suspect

Summit County on Lookout for Attempted Kidnapping Suspect

Posted - Jan. 7, 2004 at 7:26 a.m.



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Sandra Yi ReportingParents in Summit County are keeping a closer eye on their kids. That's after two children tell police about what may have been an attempted kidnapping.

Summit County authorities say two young girls describe disturbingly similar stories of a man trying to talk to them or lure them into his car. Now schools in the area have sent out letters in hopes of keeping all their kids safe from potential danger.

A possible stranger danger alert is cause for concern in this small Summit County community. Last month an elementary aged girl told her parents that a man tried to order her into his car, on her way to the bus stop. Ten days later another child, playing in her front yard, said a man got out of his car to talk to her. The girl said he drove off, when she ran inside.

The Sheriff's Office says both incidents happened within blocks of each other. And the girls' descriptions of the man and his car were similar.

Then on Monday a girl at South Summit Elementary School said she saw a car matching the description following her school bus and hanging around bus stops in Oakley.

Tim Smith, South Summit County Sheriff's Office: “We’re in the business of educating students, but also protecting students.”

This week, South Summit Elementary and Middle Schools sent letters home to parents, alerting them of the incidents and urging them to review safety plans with their kids.

Tim Smith: "It's like, have you sat down with your children and talked about a fire escape plan in your home, what happens? Well, it's better to sit down and plan than to wait until after the fire."

Louise Willoughby, South Summit Elementary School: “We would rather be proactive and I want people to be watching out for our kids.”

The sheriff's office says there are no hard suspects. Still, they're taking this situation seriously and actively trying to identify the man. Meanwhile parents are just grateful everyone is on alert.

Nikki Redd, Parent: “I think the more eyes and the more adults you have watching, I think it’s a lot safer for the kids.”

Again, authorities have no hard suspects in the case, but they do have a description of the man they want to talk to. He's about 40 years old, balding with grey hair and a dark complexion. He was driving an older silver or grey sedan type car with body damage and rust on the rear bumper. The back seat is filled with trash bags.

The Sheriff's Office says if anything, parents are now watching their kids. But they say it's a good reminder parents need to watch their kids all the time.

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