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Toddler Snatched In Garden

A TODDLER was snatched by a stranger while playing in the front yard in a quiet cul-de-sac in Melbourne's southeast yesterday.
A Doveton mother, 20, fought with the female abductor and freed her 18-month-old boy after pursuing the woman.
She had left her son alone for just moments as she took the family's pet pup inside their Moonah Court home and emerged to find her son gone, grabbed in what appears to have been an opportunistic attack about 5.30pm.
She spotted her crying son being carried away towards a nearby park and gave chase and cornered the abductor on Laurel Ave.
Police were later unable to find the abductor, Det. Sen-Constable Gary Richard said.
He said there was no suggestion that the child had been left alone for more than a few moments.
"We're appealing for any witnesses who may have heard or seen any disturbances either in the street, or anyone loitering in the Waratah Reserve," he said.
Neighbours said they were shocked.
"This is such a peaceful and nice neighbourhood," said one woman. "I've lived here for 40 years and I can't believe it's happened."
The abductor was described as about 30 years old, 165cm tall, of medium build, with mousy-coloured brown hair tied back off her face, and wearing black pants and red knitted jumper.
Police were last night doorknocking the area. Leaflets are expected to be distributed to neighbours.
INFORMATION can be given to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

AAP (29-5-2005)
Matthew Schulz


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