Police warning after masked man tries to abduct girl of 12 in street

A MAN wearing a balaclava attempted to abduct a 12-year-old girl in broad daylight, police said today.

The man tried to drag her into a van in Main Street in the village of Carnwath, South Lanarkshire, but the girl managed to fight him off. She said she noticed the van was parked on the same side of the road as her but was facing the opposite direction, as she walked in the street on Friday at around 4.30pm.  As she approached, a man got out of the vehicle and pulled a balaclava over his face. He grabbed her arm and tried to pull her into his van but she kicked at him and shouted for help and got away. The man then drove off in the van.

Detective Inspector Paul Swinburne said: “It’s vital that we trace this man as soon as possible. His attempt to drag the girl into his van was made in broad daylight on a relatively busy road.  “I feel certain that due to the time and the location, several people would have seen either him or the vehicle and I would ask them to come forward to assist with our inquiry, no matter how trivial they believe their information to be.  “The description of the man is very distinct and I am asking anyone who thinks they may know his identity to contact us.”

The man is white, slim, around 20 years old and around 5ft 9in. He wore a pale blue, sleeveless top and navy blue tracksuit bottoms tucked into tan-coloured safety rigger boots. His tracksuit bottoms had holes in the knees.  His balaclava, or black woolly hat, smelt strongly of oil.  In a separate incident the next day, a 42-year-old woman in Glasgow was held captive and robbed in her car, a gold-coloured Ford Focus.

She was returning to the vehicle in Main Street, Bridgeton, at around 5pm when a man threatened her and forced her into the car’s back seat. Another man then entered the car and the pair stole a small amount of cash from the woman.  The pair then drove off with their victim still in the vehicle. They then robbed several people around the Dennistoun area, threatening them in the street and forcing them to hand over cash.  The car was abandoned in Duke Street at Bathgate Street and the robbers ran off, ordering the woman to stay in her car until they had gone.

The woman was not physically injured but was left extremely upset by the ordeal, police said.  Detective Inspector Graham Cordner of London Road police station said: “This was a despicable crime which placed the woman in a highly distressed state and was followed by further crimes in the local area. “We will be following all lines of inquiry available to us in order to trace the perpetrators of these crimes. “I would ask anyone who saw anything suspicious or who has any knowledge of the suspects to contact ourselves with any information.”

One robber is white, 5ft 8in, aged in his 30s and has short, straight, light-brown hair. He wore a green or grey Parka-style jacket, grey hooded top, jeans and black woollen gloves.
The other robber is white, aged in his late 30s to early 40s, had dark reddish brown hair parted to the side and bad skin which looked like acne. He wore a denim jacket.

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