"Hopefully we have this dangerous person apprehended soon," said Corona Police Sgt. Frank Barron.
It happened Saturday night at the Big Lots store on North Main St. in Corona. The 5-year-old girl walked into the store with her parents. The girl was in the toy section, apparently not far from her parents, when the suspect struck. He grabbed her by the arm and tried to pull her away. But the girl screamed, startling the suspect, who then ran away.
The victim was not injured in the incident.
The suspect is described as a light-skinned male in his mid-30s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing about 170 pounds, with short dark hair. He was last seen wearing a white polo shirt with black stripes and had a possible tattoo on his right forearm.
"They're very lucky, and again, we can't stress enough, it was very smart of her to scream so that the suspect got scared himself and fled," said Barron.
It was also smart for the store to have surveillance cameras, tools that police hope will help them solve this crime soon.
"This is a serious crime," said Barron. "We don't want any children abducted. We want to solve this crime as fast as we can and that's why we're seeking help from the public, through the media. Anyone seeing or recognizing this person that we're showing on the video to call the police department on our hotline number."
Call the Corona Police Department's hotline at (951) 817-5837 if you recognize the suspect.