KOREATOWN (CBSLA.com) — The LAPD is warning residents after a second attempted abduction in the Harvard Heights area may have been caused by the same suspect as the first attempt.
A male suspect initially attempted to kidnap a 2-year-0ld boy and another toddler from an apartment Aug. 10, scaling a fence and physically grabbing the toddlers before they were rescued by the 2-year-old’s sister.
The suspect then caught on security video fleeing in a red pickup.
Police say a similar incident occurred Wednesday morning. A half-naked man was sitting in a white Chevy Astro van on the 2100 block of Washington when he asked a woman for directions. He then showed her porn on his cellphone.
Police are considering the possibility that the two incidents may be related.
“If it’s the same suspect, or even if it’s not, it’s someone who is not scared to be seen, it’s someone who is willing to use force if necessary,” LAPD Lt. Jonathan Tom said. “In Spanish, the suspect said to her ‘get in the van or you know what will happen.’ ”
Police say the woman noticed a handgun in the van’s center console before she left the scene and called 911.
Ricardo Ramos, whose son was one of the toddlers the suspect attempted to kidnap in the original incident, says residents are on edge.
“Maybe he lives around here,” Ramos said. “I’m scared, not just for my family but for everyone else around here.”
The suspect is described as a Hispanic male who was wearing a wide-brimmed hat and had braces with blue rubber bands. The white van was said to have a utility rack on it.
Anyone with information is urged to contact detectives at LAPD’s Olympic Division.