PD beefs up patrols in wake of 3 attempted abductions
Victim's description of the suspect in the attempted kidnapping in the 1800 block of N. 38th Avenue on Feb. 6
Description in the attempted kidnapping near 28th Avenue and Granada Road.
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Phoenix police are stepping up their patrols in a Maryvale neighborhood in the wake of three near-kidnappings in the area just in the last month.
Officers are looking for two men in connection with the incidents, the most recent happening Thursday night.
Parents in the neighborhood are concerned these men haven't been caught but are glad police are being proactive and casing the area.
Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump said an 11-year-old girl was riding her bike home in the area of 35th Avenue and Palm Lane about 6:30 p.m. Thursday when a white van with yellow lettering and two men inside followed her and tried to cut her off.
Neither occupant got out of the van and no words were exchanged, Crump said.
"They just kept on catching up to me. They stayed the same speed as me. When I turned, they turned so they followed me wherever I went," said the 11-year-old victim, Neida, whose last name is being withheld.
Crump said the girl was able to escape and rode to a friend's house nearby while the van followed her and 911 was called.
"I have [seen them before], but they haven't really followed me before, but I have seen them pass around," Neida told CBS 5 News.
A family friend went outside and saw a newer-model white Dodge van with dark tinted windows and possible taxi decals on the back and sides, Crump said.
He approached the van, but it sped away at a high rate of speed down Palm Lane.
A passenger inside the van matches a description of a suspect in the previous two incidents.
The passenger was described as Hispanic, in his 30s, dark-skinned, heavy-set, with short dark hair and tattoos on his arms.
The driver of the van was described as Hispanic, in his 40s, heavy-set, thin mustache and tattoos on his biceps. He was wearing a blue short-sleeve shirt.
On Feb. 6, a 14-year-old girl was forced into the front seat of a dark brown four-door car, similar to a Ford Taurus, while she was near her home in the 1800 block of North 38th Avenue, police said.
On Feb. 18, the suspect forced an 11-year-old girl into a dark green minivan with a scratch on the hood and a sticker in a window while she was in front of her home near 28th Avenue and Granada Road.
None of the victims were injured.
Neida is glad to be OK and said she plans to be more vigilant.
"I'm going to stay away from the cars I don't recognize," Neida said.
Phoenix police said that while the vehicles were different, there were similarities in the victims' descriptions.
The suspect in those cases was described as Hispanic his 30s, with medium build and short black hair. Police said the man has a pierced nose and a tattoo of a snake on his right arm, Crump said.
He speaks both English and Spanish.
Anyone with information about the suspects or incidents is asked to call police at 602-262-6141 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS (480-948-6377).
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