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Rash of attempted kidnappings worry police

Date Posted: 2002-08-01

A man in a car approached a 12-year old girl walking on a street in Moromizato, Okinawa City, and asked directions to the Nakanomachi Elementary School. Then, the man asked the girl to come into the car and show him the way.

However, instead of driving to the elementary school, the man drove to a cemetery area in Yaeshima. When he stopped the car and went out to discard some trash, the girl managed to get out and escaped. She ran to the nearest house, and asked people there to help. The residents the called the police. The police arrived but the man had fled the scene.

According to police, the man who is suspected of an attempted kidnapping is about 160 to 170 cm tall, 50 to 60 years old, has short-cropped hair and was wearing green construction-style clothing.

The police say that they have received reports of 14 attempts to lure young girls into a car this summer. 11 of the attempts have taken place in Okinawa City and three in Chatan.

The Okinawa City Board of Education and the city's PTAs had an emergency meeting after the latest incident came to light. Participants at the meeting discussed ways to protect children from such incidents. Okinawa City Police has also drafted a letter to parents of young girls advising of ways to teach their children what to do if strangers approach them.

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