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Traffic cones used to lure victim in Riverside

April 25, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A teenage girl narrowly escaped a would-be kidnapper who used a fake roadblock to lure her out of her car in Riverside County.

It's fairly common to come across traffic cones along the sides of the road. They're usually placed near construction zones.

But a line of cones that was used as a road block on Pourroy Road a couple of nights ago, was not set up that way. In fact, police said it's possible the cones, which were used with fishing line and duct tape, were actually some kind of trap.

"It appears that the subject was using these cones to stop motorists and potentially abduct them," said Sgt. Joe Borja of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

The girl was driving on Pourroy Road and Thompson Road in Winchester around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday when she saw traffic cones obstructing the roadway. She got out to move them and that's when a man jumped out from the bushes and tried to grab her.

"She was able to get away from the subject, jump back into her vehicle and speed off. But before she sped off, the subject jumped back on top of the hood of the vehicle and was brushed away from the vehicle as she sped away," said Borja.

Officials said the victim got away uninjured, but residents in the area are concerned.

"It's disconcerting to say the least. We have a whole lot of people going for walks and stuff like this. And you're never quite sure what's going to take place," said resident Sue Neumann.

But could it have been some kind of prank?

Authorities got a number of calls reporting kids in the area horsing around with traffic cones.

"It could be juveniles being mischievous because we did receive prior calls indicating that juveniles were placing cones on the roadway earlier in the day. But the fact that somebody physically tried to grab a subject who stopped brings us concern," said Borja.

The incident remained under investigation. Anyone with information was asked to call the Riverside County Sheriff's Department at (951) 696-3000.