The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station is investigating a reported incident of attempted kidnapping that occurred near Las Mananitas Drive and Vista Delgado Drive, Saugus.
A Saugus resident, female 11, reported she was walking home from Santa Clarita Elementary School when a man driving an older model gray and white van pulled alongside her and began yelling in a threatening and commanding manner for her to get in his vehicle. The victim got scared and began running toward her home. When she got near Las Mananitas Drive and La Granja Drive she looked back and the van was gone.
Deputies were called in, initiated a crime broadcast, and began an immediate canvas of the area in search of the suspect, but he was not located. Detectives have since been out to the neighborhood to conduct follow-up interviews and further investigation. Officials from the Saugus Union School District -- Santa Clarita Elementary School have sent a letter home with all students outlining the incident and safety precautions all children should take when walking home from school. Deputies are continuing a substantial presence in the area of Santa Clarita schools during start and dismissal hours.
The Santa Clarita Sheriff's Station is seeking public assistance from anyone who may have seen this man or the van, or has information about the case. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his 40's, with brown hair and facial hair. At the time of the incident, the suspect was reportedly wearing a green baseball style hat and black sunglasses.
Officials from our local Sheriff's station are asking all residents to be extra vigilant in reporting suspicious people or vehicles matching the above description. If they are seen, call 9-1-1 immediately.
The Sheriff's department also released the following safety tips, which families are encouraged to share.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station safety tips:
• Always be alert and aware of the people around you, especially if you are alone or it is dark.
• Use the buddy system -- Children should never walk alone
• Educate yourself concerning prevention tactics.
• Be aware of locations and situations which would make you vulnerable to crime, such as alleys, dark parking lots, and remote unlit or sparsely traveled walkways and pathways.
• Whenever possible, travel or walk with a friend.
• Stay in well-lighted areas as much as possible.
• Avoid doorways, bushes, and alleys where someone could hide.
• Walk confidently, and at a steady pace.
• Do not respond to conversation from strangers on the street when other risk factors are present, continue walking.
• Don't set a pattern - use different routes of travel and varying times when walking, exercising, or leaving your house or place of business.
• Immediately report suspicious activity or persons in your neighborhoods to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.
• Be a good witness - Try to get a vehicle license plate number. If you can't get the vehicle license plate number try to get as much identifying information about the vehicle or person as you can. Such as, color, make, model, damage, type of rims, stickers, etc. pertaining to vehicles. Clothing, scars, tattoos, oddities, etc. pertaining to people.
• Take a cell phone picture or video of the person or vehicle if you can safely do so. Save/store the information in your phone or PDA.
• Write down license plates of unfamiliar vehicles in your neighborhoods in case something comes of them at a later date. The information may solve a case should a crime be occurring.