La Palma police say a surveillance camera captured the suspect driving his car in a series of turning movements so he could drive up to the victim and ask her if she wanted a ride near the intersection of Moody Street and La Palma Avenue on Tuesday.
"It was very suspicious because he saw as she was walking down the street, he made a turn at the intersection to get into the strip mall that she'd be walking by momentarily," said Sgt. Raul Morales of the La Palma Police Department.
Officers say the suspect asked her if she needed a ride, and the girl did everything right.
"She ran, and she got help, which is what we tell kids all the time," Morales said.
Morales said the girl didn't recognize the man, but she was able to provide a good description.
The suspect was described as Hispanic, 30 to 35 years old with a medium to heavy build, brown hair and brown eyes. He had a circular tattoo on his forearm.
The man's vehicle is a black or dark blue sedan, possibly a 2002 to 2004 Chrysler 300M.
The intersection where the incident happened is just steps away from Los Coyotes Elementary School. School officials sent out a message to parents to be vigilant.
Parents said they were surprised with the news and said it was a safe area.
"I'm hoping we as a community bind together to find out who this is, so this doesn't go any further," said one parent.
Anyone with information was asked to call La Palma police at (714) 690-3375.