The San Mateo Police Department is investigating an attempted child abduction that occurred near Parkside Elementary School on Friday afternoon.
At about 2:45 p.m., a 9-year-old girl told Parkside staff a stranger had tried to abduct her from the school and that she was able to escape from a short distance away, police said.
The Police Department was immediately notified and began investigating the incident. The girl was safe and with her family on Friday night.
The suspect has been described as a white male in his 20s or 30s, approximately 6 ft. tall with freckles and some facial hair.
San Mateo Police have saturated the area, have developed some investigative leads, and are actively looking for the suspect. The San Mateo-Foster City District and the San Mateo Police are also aware of the following two incidents that occurred in the area Friday:
- A stranger who was contacted and escorted off the campus at Horrall Elementary.
- A report of a stranger offering alcohol to students from Bayside STEM ACADEMY.
The San Mateo Police Department and the District are working together to determine if these incidents are related.
As of Friday night the San Mateo Police Department was treating the investigations "very seriously" and deploying resources to continue this investigation around the clock. Police are saturating all playgrounds, parks and any other areas children may gather to ensure the safety of the community.
The Police Department is asking the community to maintain a high level of observation at playgrounds, parks or anywhere that children might congregate. Anyone with information about the above incidents should notify the San Mateo Police Department at (650) 522-7700 or 911.
A note from the San Mateo Police Department and San Mateo-Foster City School District:
As educators and police, we strongly encourage parents to talk to your children about stranger awareness. Here are six tips:
- Make sure that your child understands who a stranger is… it may not be a person that looks strange.
- Make sure that your child knows his/her full name, address and phone number.
- Be sure that your child knows how to call 9-1-1.
- Encourage your child to go with a friend or a family member when they go somewhere and use safe routes not short cuts by vacant buildings, alleys or other potentially dangerous places.
- Review scenarios that strangers might use to get your child into a car including offering candy, toys, money or asking for help.
- If approached by a stranger, make sure that your child knows to run away, scream and find a trusted adult for help.
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