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Ashburton Police seek witnesses to attempted abduction

Ashburton Police seek witnesses to attempted abduction

Wednesday, 7 May 2014 - 4:42pm

Canterbury

Ashburton Police investigating the attempted abduction of an eight-year old girl from the Allenton area yesterday want to hear from people who may have been in the vicinity when the incident occurred.

Police believe a man attempted to drag the girl into a dark green car, parked on the corner of Harrison and Smitheram Streets. She was not injured and was able to break free and run home.

Detective Leigh Jenkins says a number of witnesses have already come forward with information.

"We are grateful for the information we've received so far - this has resulted in a number of inquiries being conducted," he says.

"We now want to contact some people we believe were in the area when the incident occurred, around 4pm to 4.15pm yesterday [Tuesday 7 May].

"In particular we are interested in locating and speaking to a woman who was walking two black and white dogs, and who spoke to the young girl on Harrison Street between Allison and Smitheram Streets.

"We believe that around the time the man was with the young girl there would have been a number of people in the area, either returning home from school or in the shopping area. We are appealing for these people to make contact with Police as soon as possible.

"If anyone recalls seeing any suspicious persons or vehicles in the area on Tuesday or earlier, they are asked to make contact with Police."

Detective Jenkins says Police believe the incident is an isolated one, and there have not been previous reports of similar incidents in the area.

"All the same, we encourage residents to be vigilant about people and vehicles that may be acting suspiciously - and if a vehicle is seen, it's helpful if the registration number is obtained.

"With school returning it is also timely to remind the community to be aware of children keeping themselves safe and using positive behaviour, encouraging them to say 'no' and to stay away from strange vehicles. It's also important to encourage children to be able to talk to their caregivers about any concerns they may have."

He says the young girl is recovering well following the incident. "She was able to break free from the man and returned home and told her mother what happened," he says.

"She handled herself well in a situation that could have resulted in a more serious outcome."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Ashburton Police on (03) 3078400.

Information can also be provided anonymously to the organisation Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

ENDS

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