Parents put on alert after attempted kidnapping

SAN MATEO, Calif.

Just before 3 p.m. Friday, a 9-year-old girl escaped from a man who was trying to abduct her. Police say the girl created a distraction and ran back to Parkside Elementary, where she notified personnel, who then called police. The would-be kidnapper remains on the loose. The little girl is safe with her family.

Police responded to two other incidents at schools in San Mateo: Horrall Elementary and nearby Bayside S.T.E.M. Academy. They're not sure whether all three are related We have a portion of a call sent out to alert parents in the San Mateo-Foster City School District.

The alert said, "At this time the San Mateo Police Department is treating all of these investigations very seriously and is deploying resources around the clock. San Mateo Police Department is saturating all playgrounds, parks and any other areas children gather to ensure the safety of the community. We are asking the community to maintain a high level of observation of playgrounds, parks, or anywhere children might congregate."

"The automated call that went out with the schools was a collaborative message that San Mateo Police Department and the San Mateo-Foster City School District worked on together to provide as much information as possible to parents," said San Mateo Police Sgt. Dave Norris.

The would-be kidnapper is described as a white man in his 20s or 30s, about 6'0" with freckles and some facial hair. Anyone with information is urged to contact San Mateo police.

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