Glendale Police are investigating two attempted kidnappings that are believed to be related after someone tried to snatch two toddlers within the same hour Wednesday evening.
A mother was walking with her infant in a stroller shortly after 5 p.m. at Chevy Chase Drive and Adams Street when the driver of a vehicle stopped, got out and grabbed the child, police said. The mother was able to grab the baby back. Based on surveillance footage, police believe the vehicle is a silver Nissan Versa note hatchback.
About 20 minutes later, an 8-year-old reported to a 911 operator that someone tried to take his 3-year-old-brother near John Marshall Elementary School at Chevy Chase Drive and Broadway. The mother intervened by either slapping or punching the person, and the person fled in a silver sedan, officials said.
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In both incidents, the perpetrator said something to the effect of, "you're so cute," when approaching the child, Sgt. Robert William of the Glendale Police Department said. The attempted abductions occurred less than less than a mile apart and detectives believe they are connected.
"This is not something that happens regularly in Glendale," William said at a news conference. "As a police department and as a community, this is something scary."
The person involved in the first incident was described as a woman in her 50s with short thick hair, wearing heavy winter clothing, police said. She was reported to have fled in a white or silver compact car with a license plate possibly starting with "7HY."
The attempted child snatcher in the second incident was described by the 8-year-old as a man dressed like woman, officials said. The mother described him as a man in his 40s or 50s with salt-and-pepper hair and a 2-day-old beard, dressed in a gray shirt with a multicolored design on the front. Police said on Thursday they received conflicting reports about whether the suspect in the incident was a woman or a man.
Residents in the area were concerned.
"It's a little scary," Lilia Santiago said. "I walk here every night."
Parent Mario Cordona said he knows police will keep the area well protected.
The Glendale Police Department asks that anyone with information call (818) 548-4911.