Witnesses sought to abduction bid
Central Otago police are investigating an attempted abduction of a 12-year-old girl in Cromwell on Friday and an incident the same afternoon in which a 7-year-old boy was approached in Alexandra.
Sergeant Derek Ealson, of Alexandra, said the girl was riding her bicycle along Achil St about 4pm when she noticed a white van with tinted windows and two men inside it following her.
The girl went into a shop and headed home and the van continued to follow her.
On Blyth St one of the men got out and grabbed her from behind, lifting her off her bicycle. The girl fought the man and was able to break free.
"She did very well. She did exactly the right thing and screamed and kicked," Mr Ealson said.
The men were described as having dark skin and foreign accents. One of the men had dreadlocks with a distinctive red mark under his left eye and the other had a shaven head.
The white van had silver writing down the side if it.
Anyone who witness the incident or had information about the men or the van were urged to contact police.
At this stage it was unknown if the white van was linked to two attempted abductions in Invercargill during the past three weeks, Mr Ealson said.
A man with grey-silver hair tried to lure two teenaged girls into the back of his white van in separate incidents in the city.
Alexandra police were also investigating an incident where a 7-year-old boy was offered a ride home by a stranger in a four-door silver car at 4.50pm near the Alexandra Primary School.
The driver was described as a male Maori aged between 30 and 40 years old. The man drove off after the boy declined the ride.
It was not believed the incident was linked to the Cromwell attempted abduction, Mr Ealson said.
The Southland Times