A possible child abduction attempt has police seeking information on a man who reportedly tried Wednesday night to lure a young girl into his car by offering her candy.
The man, described as "a white male wearing a short sleeve shirt (unknown color) and black pants" was driving a "red 4-door sedan with the word ‘Nissan' in white letters on the right, rear quarter panel," Statesboro Public Safety Director Wendell Turner said in a news release issued Thursday.
The victim's mother, Kelley Skinner, told the Statesboro Herald Thursday that her daughter, age 7, was walking the family dog near their Stadium Walk apartment when the man approached her and moved as if he was going to grab her. Then, he offered her a lollipop if she would get into his car, she said.
The frightened child yelled "Stranger danger! Don't touch me there!" Skinner said, adding that her daughter learned the self-defense move in karate class. The man, who was further described by the victim as having blond hair, a beard and possibly in his 30's, fled when she yelled.
Turner said the incident took place around 8:20 p.m. Wednesday.
"The girl was not harmed during the incident," he said.
The suspect was not on the scene when officers arrived and could not be located, he said.
Skinner said the incident is disturbing and proves abductions can happen anywhere at any time. Her daughter was in view of their apartment when the man approached her, she said.
Such abduction attempts "are reality," she said. "It can happen in your own back yard."
Skinner said she is very proud of her daughter and grateful that she learned safety measures that helped keep her safe.
"She told me she didn't even have to think about it," Skinner said, that the reaction to yell what she was taught came instinctively.
Police said a similar possible abduction attempt several weeks ago near Packinghouse Road is unrelated, with the suspect's and vehicle description being different from the suspect in Wednesday's incident.
The case is still under investigation, Turner said. Anyone with information concerning this case is asked to contact the Investigations Bureau at the Statesboro Police Department at (912) 764-9911.
Citizens may also anonymously submit information to www.tipsoft.com. Text messages beginning with "TIPSSPD" may be sent to 274637 (CRIMES). All information is strictly confidential, he said.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.