Search is on for suspects involved in attempted child abductions

10 months 3 days 2 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 2:52:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in Top Stories
By: Kyreon Lee, KOMU 8 Reporter
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JEFFERSON CITY - Officials and the community are on high alert after two attempted child abductions, a little over a month apart, involving kids who attend West Elementary School. 

On Friday, a 10-year-old girl was walking home, when she said a man approached her and tried to grab her and pull her into his vehicle.

The girl said she kicked the man several times and was able to run away to her residence.

Resident Sheila Stratman who lives near the school said hearing about the two incidents makes her feel horrible.

"I would really like to know where it happened, so that I know. I'm in the neighborhood and I can keep a better look of what's going on," Stratman said.

The man is described as a middle-aged, white male, about 5 foot 7 inches, clean shaven, sandy blonde or light brown hair, last wearing jeans and a dark colored shirt. The vehicle is described as a dark blue passenger car.

Jefferson City Police Department, Captain Doug Shoemaker, said he encourages parents to tell their children to be aware of their surroundings.

"Children's safety is our highest priority. After the last incident, we patrolled routinely and had extra patrols at the school and around the school and after school," he said.

Director of School and Community Relations Amy Berendzen said West Elementary School officials are working closely with the Jefferson City Police Department to figure out the next steps.

"Our biggest priority is the safety of the kids," Berendzen said. "We sent out an email to parents about increased police presence before and after school."

The first incident happened in early December when an 11-year-old girl was riding her bicycle to school, in the Hayselton/Allen Drive area, when a man grabbed her off of her bicycle and tried to put her into his car. She was able to get away and report it to school officials.

The suspect is described as a man in his 30s, scruffy, brown hair, crooked teeth and driving a bright red, four-door pick-up truck.

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