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SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2007
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Report of abduction attempt ruled false

By Seth Burkett
sburkett@decaturdaily.com 340-2355

Decatur police said Friday that a report of a stranger trying to pick up a middle-school student in January was unfounded.

The girl told police she was walking near Eastwood Elementary on Jan. 8 when a red car with a white stripe pulled alongside her.

The scenario was similar to an attempted abduction a trio of neighborhood boys had reported to police Dec. 22.

A white male behind the wheel offered to give the girl a ride home and or to let her use his cell phone, but she refused and he drove away, the report stated.

But police said Friday there was never an attempt to abduct the girl.

'Ruled unfounded'

"We did a thorough investigation, and we've labeled the second incident as unfounded. The juvenile was never at risk, and there was never a risk to the public," said Lt. Chris Mathews, a police spokesman.

Mathews did not elaborate on how police arrived at that conclusion.

"Cases like this are sensitive because the victims are so young, and it's traumatic to both the victims and the family members," he said.

"We certainly don't want to discourage people from reporting what they believe to be a crime."

"We know (the public is) concerned about the recent reports of attempted child abductions, and we do aggressively investigate those types of complaints," Mathews said.

Police were still investigating the first report.

Another case

Also, police were looking into what they believe is an unrelated case in which two men
offered an 8-year-old boy candy in an apparent attempt
to lure him to their car Wednesday.

When the boy ran, the vehicle, described as a red Honda Civic with a spoiler, dark windows and loud tail pipes, followed him through the neighborhood, in the area of Duncansby Drive Southwest, until neighbors intervened.

No arrests had been made in either case.

Anyone with information can call the police confidential tip line at 340-INFO (4636), or the department's front desk at 340-4660.

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