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South Bay on alert after kidnapping attempts

March 9, 2010 12:07:40 AM PST
Residents and police in the South Bay are on alert after two attempted kidnappings that may be related. The suspect descriptions in both cases are similar.However, police said they have not confirmed if the same man who targeted children in Redondo Beach is also the same man who tried to kidnap a Gardena college student.

Gardena police said a man tried to lure a 20-year-old into his red pickup truck last Tuesday morning. She ran away, and the suspect chased her but eventually gave up. He was described as a white man, about 45 years old, with tan skin and shoulder-length, dirty-blond hair.

Redondo police said a man with a similar description had approached two children on Feb. 26. He was described as a white male, 40 to 60 years old, with tan, leathery skin and shoulder-length gray hair.

The man pulled up alongside a 9-year-old girl and her 11-year-old brother while they were leaving home for school.

Sgt. Fabian Saucedo of the Redondo Beach Police Department said the suspect asked the girl if she needed a ride.

"The little girl hesitated, and then he told her to get in the car. Her 11-year-old brother then yelled 'no,' held his sister, and then they both started screaming," Saucedo said.

The driver finally drove away, and the children reported the incident to their parents.

Anyone with information on either case is urged to call the Redondo Beach Police Department at (310) 379-2477 or the Gardena Police Department at (310) 217-9607.