Second child kidnap attempt

SARAH HARVEY AND MARYKE PENMAN
Last updated 14:02 18/10/2012

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A second child in three days has been the subject of an attempted kidnapping on Auckland's North Shore.

A Red Beach School girl was approached yesterday afternoon by a Caucasian man in a two-door white vehicle, offering her a ride home.

The man fitted the description of the offender who grabbed a five-year-old boy in Greenhithe on Monday afternoon. 

Julie Hepburn, principal of Red Beach School, posted a message to parents on Facebook this morning saying yesterday's incident had highlighted the need to remind children about "stranger danger".

"Wisely our student declined, immediately removed herself from the situation, and alerted her mother. Our local police were immediately informed of this incident and patrol cars were alerted.

"We are very proud of our student for acting bravely and clear headed in what was a stressful incident." 

On Monday a boy was grabbed as he walked home from school near the intersection of Greenhithe Rd and Tauhinu Rd at around 3.20pm.

Detective Constable Hayden Walker said the boy was walking just metres behind his mother when someone, driving what has been described as a white ''ice cream truck'', got out of their vehicle to approach him. 

Walker said the boy struggled free and ran to his mother who alerted police.

The man was described as Caucasian, about 40 years old and with dark curly hair. He was walking with a distinct gait, possibly due to a disability.

Greenhithe School principal Peter Marshall sent out an email alerting parents.

"As far as I know nothing like this has ever happened here, it is a relatively free area," he said. "Fortunately the boy was able to get free.

"Hopefully this will scare (the man) away and we won't see him again."

Detective Sergeant Megan Gould said officers were following "strong leads".

They were yet to speak to the boy about Monday's incident.

"There will be quite a bit of concern about any parent that hears this. I don't want to be ramping up concern about this, but it is a serious matter."

Gould suggested parents be aware of any suspicious behaviour and note down registration numbers. She said children should not walk to school alone.

Anyone with information about the incidents can call North Shore CIB on 09 477 5107 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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