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Suspect attempts to kidnap O.C. boy

February 23, 2009 9:09:04 AM PST
Police are searching for a suspect who tried to kidnap a young boy in Ladera Ranch on Sunday afternoon.The 10-year-old boy said the suspect tried to grab him just before 1 p.m. near his house on Downing Street.

"(He) tried to engage the young boy in conversation, finally did ask the boy if he wanted to go to a party with him," said Jim Amormino from the O.C. Sheriff's Department.

The boy ran home and told his parents what happened, and police were called to the scene.

The suspect is described as a white man, about 30 years old, with blonde or light brown hair, a goatee and an earring in his right ear.

The boy said the man was driving a white Ford Explorer, with gold or tan trim on the bottom, and the car had a running board.

The area is home to many families and is an ideal neighborhood for children, with parks and green space. But police are warning parents about a predator who they believe has been in the area on at least two occasions.

The day before, a mother saw a man matching the suspect description getting out of an SUV that she didn't recognize. She said the man approached her son and other kids playing across the street, and she intervened, telling the children to come inside.

Some parents are surprised a predator would pick their quiet street.

"It was a shock 'cause we're an off-the-beaten-path street, so we're very observant," said Steve Bowles, a concerned parent.

The neighborhood is not an easy one to navigate unless you know the streets. Investigators believe the suspect may be a resident or know someone in the area.

Anyone with information is urged to call (866) TIP-OCSD.


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