Police find no suspects after attempted abduction reports, but warn children to remain vigilant

Saturday, April 13, 2019 - 09:36
  • Star file photo/Matt Tunseth

Police on Friday said they have been unable to find any suspects after a rash of reports of suspicious people approaching children in Chugiak spread on social media over the past week.

According to an APD Nixle alert, several reports were made to police “in reference to suspicious people in the Eagle River & Chugiak area, who were reportedly approaching children and acting inappropriately.”

However, police said detectives investigating the cases found the descriptions were vague and that the reports were unrelated.

“Detectives were able to determine the reports aren’t related and that no actual crimes had occurred,” police wrote.

Police said they were able to determine one case actually involved a man who was “legitimately a pet owner looking for their missing dog (who was later found).”

On Wednesday, a woman posted a photo of a red SUV to the Chugiak Neighborhood Watch page on Facebook saying her daughter was approached by a man inside at Loretta French Park. However, another man later posted in the comments that the person was not a prowler and was out looking for the man’s dog — but that the police had shown up at his house looking for the SUV anyway. The original post was later removed.

While the reports appear to be unrelated, police said children should always be wary of strangers.

“While no children were harmed, these situations serve as a reminder for families to discuss with their children about Stranger Danger. The conversations should include topics such as personal safety, not talking to strangers, avoiding getting into vehicles with strangers even if they say they know you or your family, no walking off alone, create a buddy system and more,” police wrote.

“APD is grateful for the children and adults who saw something suspicious and made a report. Anytime you see something or hear something suspicious, say something.”

Police said detectives continue to investigate the reports.

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