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They Tried To Take My Child

Mum's Horror As Men Snatch Daughter At Party

A MOTHER who foiled a kidnapping attempt of her baby daughter has told of her fear at seeing her toddler in the arms of a stranger.
The woman was at a children's birthday party at the AMF Tenpin Bowling Centre at Woodville when her three- year- old girl was grabbed.
She hopes other parents will learn from the incident.
"It happened so quickly and it's quite scary to think that if I wasn't there he could have just walked out with her," the woman, who wants to remain anonymous, said from her western suburbs home yesterday.
She said her daughter was within arms reach of her when a man picked up the girl and began walking off.
"(My daughter) started screaming and he had walked about a metre- and- a- half away from us when I jumped off my chair and went for him," she said.
"I screamed. 'What do you think you're doing with my daughter," but he didnt let her go instantly."
A second man then approached the woman, apologised for the actions of the first man and the pair left the centre together. The woman told police that one of the men had earlier attempted to grab the little girl as she ran past him.
"My daughter was playing with my sister-in-law and one (of the men tried to pick her up as she ran past," the woman said.
"My sister- in- law snatched her back and didn't think much more of it. So she was really startled when she saw me react, because she thought the man was one of the parents at the birthday party."
The woman made an official police report on July 21 after initially alerting bowling centre management.
Port Adelaide CIB yesterday released identikit images of the men.
One is described as being of European appearance, in his mid- 20s, about 172cm, of slim build with an olive complexion and short, straight black hair.
The second is Caucasian, aged 30 to 35, with short blond hair, about 176cm and slim.
"We're seeking the assistance of any person who may have seen the incident or know the men," a police spokesman said.
The woman, who says she is always cautious about her children's safety, is even more so now.
"Sometimes I think I'm too overbearing and people comment on that, but if you let them go, look what happens," she said.
The toddler is still shaken by the incident.
"She's quite fearful of strangers and sometimes she says to me, That man, he picked rne up, why did he do that?'," she said.
Meanwhile, more than 20 calls have been made to CrimeStoppers after another suspected abduction attempt at Westfield Marion on July 24.
Police released an identikit image of a man who picked up a 21- month- old girl. The girl's mother, standing just metres away, screamed at the man, who then released the girl and ran off.
"We had a series of good responses from the community and have followed up just about all of them, but it hasn't led to anything yet," Sturt CIB's officer in charge, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Harvey said.
Anyone with Information is asked to call CrimeStoppers - 1800 333 000.

Sunday Mail (8-8-2004)
Anna Merola

Identikit of suspect

Identikit of suspect


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