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Police investigate after attempted abductions in Utica, Syracuse
UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Alicia Harvey always watches her eight and ten-year-old daughters closely when they play in the park across the street from her home on James Street in Utica.
But after learning that a man in a pickup truck may have tried to lure a five-year-old child into his vehicle nearby on Tuesday, she'll be watching even more closely.
"That's terrifying. My girls play in the park a lot and that's one of the main reasons I make sure that either myself or my sons are outside to watch them and they know stranger danger and if you see someone you don't know, you run and you come back home," says Harvey.
Close by, at the intersection of Addington Place and High Street, a couple reported seeing an older man in a white pickup truck trying to lure a five-year-old child into the vehicle. Luckily, according to Utica Police, the couple spoke up.
"Thankfully the adults were there and thankfully they were just concerned citizens. They have no real connection with the child; they did the right thing. It didn't get to any point where the kid was close to being brought into the vehicle but whatever this person was, their behavior was suspicious," says UPD Sgt. Steve Hauck.
The incident happened around 6 p.m. Tuesday. The following night, Utica Police received an inter-agency alert from the North Syracuse Police Department.
"We received an alert from an agency out in Syracuse. Almost an identical thing happened on the same day, on Tuesday, around 2 in the afternoon," says Hauck.
In Syracuse, a woman inside her home noticed a child running by outside. He was running so fast, she became alarmed and went on her front porch to see what was going on.
She told North Syracuse Police that a man in a white pickup truck was turning around in a nearby parking lot. She asked the man what was going on. He ignored her and drove off.
North Syracuse and Utica Police are sharing information about the incidents.
The alleged suspect is described as a white male, possibly in his 60s, with a buzzed, or, 'brushed' haircut, driving a small white pickup truck, possibly with a white cap on it.
Anyone with any information regarding the man or the truck is asked to call Utica Police at 735 3301.