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Girl, 11, Thwarts Kidnapping Attempt In Whittier But Whereabouts Of Another Girl Unknown

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WHITTIER (CBSLA.com) — Police are looking for a red convertible with a tan roof that could be linked to a suspect wanted in several attempted kidnapping incidents over the past month.

Authorities said an 11-year-old girl was grabbed around 2:35 p.m. Thursday by an unidentified man and put in the back seat of a car with a younger girl.

“She was actually grabbed and placed in the back seat of a car. When she was placed in the back seat of the car, she noticed there was a 7-year-old female in the back seat as well, crying,” Brad White of the Whittier Police Department said.

The kidnapping attempt took place in front of Founders Park, near Broadway and Citrus Streets, Whittier police said.

The 11-year-old said she and the younger girl fled the vehicle and ran in opposite directions. When the 11-year-old got home, she called police. The other girl has not contacted police nor have they received a missing person’s report, officials said.

“We have notified all local agencies regarding this incident to be on the lookout for the vehicle, and in case they do have a missing person’s report of a 7-year-old to give us a contact,” White said.

Whittier police believe this attempted kidnapping is related to two similar incidents that occurred  on Feb 5.

The first incident happened around 11:25 a.m. in the area of 13000 Broadway, also near Founders Park. Police believe the same suspect approached a 17-year-old girl and attempted to coax her into his vehicle. She said she didn’t need a ride but the man persisted, followed her, and kept his door open.

Later that same day, around 4:40 p.m., a witness called police saying she saw a man in a red convertible tried to contact two females in the 6700 block of Washington Avenue, across the street from Central Park.

The witness reported seeing two high school-aged girls arguing with the suspect who was trying to get them into his car. The suspect then fled the scene. The witness did not know the girls’ names.

Whittier detectives believe all three attempted kidnappings may be connected as the suspect was consistently seen driving a red convertible with a tan roof. He’s described as being 25 to 35 years old, 5 feet 11 inches to 6 feet tall,  and of medium to heavy build.

In Thursday’s incident, the 11-year-old victim described the suspect as having short black hair and a tattoo of three dots on his left hand.

Whittier school officials have been notified.

Anyone with information about the suspect was asked to call Whittier police Detective Ken Woods at (562) 567-9286 or Whittier police at (562) 567-9241.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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