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Mother saves daughter from attempted abduction in Frankston

A MOTHER fears a child predator will strike again after she snatched her seven-year-old girl out of his arms.
And while the girl Sarah is now safe, her mother Leigh says the man threatened: "I'll be back".
The terrifying incident happened in the driveway of the woman's Alba Street home in Frankston North about 3.30pm yesterday afternoon.
Police have released this image of a man wanted in connection with the attempted abduction of a seven-year-old girl in Frankston North
Late today police released a photofit image of a man wanted for questioning (contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000).
Leigh told 3AW her daughter had been playing in the front yard when she heard her start screaming.
She said she initially thought her daughter had hurt herself and ran outside to find a man trying to drag the girl into his car.
"I could hear this man yelling at her to shut up … so I went out there and he had her by the arm, trying to get her into his car,’’ she told 3AW.
"I think he would have had to take one, maybe two, steps and it would have been too late."
"Lee" said she grabbed hold of her daughter around the waist and starting pulling her from the man's grip.
"I was telling him to let her go, he didn't do nothing," she said.
She said once she had pulled her daughter free from the man's grip, he got into his car and started doing burnouts in the street, before threatening to return and take the young girl.
"(I’m) scared that this guy might come back because that’s what he threatened. He said, 'I’ll be back I want your daughter’," she said.
"He was very brazen, it didn't seem like a spur of the moment thing, (it) seemed like he planned it."
"Lee" said the man did return later that night and parked across her driveway. She said she called police, but the man left before they arrived.
Detective Alan Paxton from Frankston’s sexual offence and child abuse investigation team told the Frankston Leader the attack was every parent’s nightmare.
“It’s very disturbing to me. This type of event is very rare. It doesn’t often happen,’’ he said.
He said the man was in his mid-30s, of athletic build and with short red hair and with a marijuana leaf tattooed on his shoulder.
His car is believed to be a 1980s or early ‘90s light-blue Toyota wagon or hatchback.
“We have received anecdotal reports the same car was seen in Radiata St, Frankston North the day before,’’ Sen-Sgt Paxton said.
"Just be vigilant around your children.” Det Sen-Sgt Paxton said.
Police have been told that the man has been seen in the local area over the past two days and are appealing for anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Herald Sun (15-4-2011)
Jessica Craven/ Amelia Harris

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