Seattle Police are warning parents to keep their young children within sight after a rash of apparent kidnapping attempts involving 3- and 4-year-old boys.
The latest incident happened Monday morning outside Coe Elementary School in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood. Seattle Police spokeswoman Renee Witt says a woman told police she had left her 4-year-old son inside her parked car while she walked her daughter to the school.
When the woman returned to her car, she says she saw a man walk away from the car hastily. "She didn’t think too much of it until she got into her vehicle and spoke with her 4-year-old and he told her that the man had tried to get into the car by trying all of the door handles," Witt said.
The suspect reportedly drove off in a red Pontiac Grand Am.
The night before, a woman in White Center told police that a man in a ski mask tried to walk off with her 3-year-old son during a family barbeque. The woman reportedly chased the man until he fell down, then laid on top of her son to protect him.
The suspect reportedly kicked the woman repeatedly, then ran off.
Witt says detectives will look for any possible connection between the two cases.
In a third incident, Seattle police say a suspect was arrested Sunday morning for allegedly snatching a 4-year-old from his family near Seattle Center.
Witt says the suspect in that case was arrested immediately and was in jail during the other two incidents so is not a suspect in those cases.
Although Witt says these crimes are unusual, she says parents should be vigilant and not leave kids unattended in the car – locked or not.