Cedar Rapids father says pair tried to abduct his son - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids father says pair tried to abduct his son


A Cedar Rapids father says a man and woman in a white van tried to abduct his five-year-old son on Tuesday night.

Sergeant Cristy Hamblin says the father reported to police that he was following his son as he rode his bike in the 7500 block of Kirkwood Boulevard SW at around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday night when a white Chevy Astro van pulled up next to the boy.

The father says a white man got out of the van and grabbed the boy while a white female got out of the van and grabbed the bike.

The father says he began yelling at them and they let the boy go and went south on Kirkwood Boulevard SW.

Hamblin says it was not reported to police until three hours after the incident.

The man is described as being in his 30's with short brown hair.  He is about 5'8" and weighs around 120 pounds.

The female is described as being in her 30's with shoulder length brown hair and a tattoo on the thumb web of her left hand.

Hamblin says a third person was driving the van.  He is described as a white man with glasses and a larger build. 

"It shouldn't be just the white van," said Hamblin.  "It's the entire issue surrounding what happens. "

Hamblin says that they do not want to create paranoia in the community, they instead want to educate people to get as many details as possible. 

If you see something suspicious going on, you should get height, weight, hair and clothing of the people involved and color, year, make, body style and license plate of a vehicle that is involved.

If you have information regarding this or any crime, you are asked to call the Cedar Rapids Police Department at 319-286-5491 or Linn County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-CS-CRIME (272-7463) or text to CRIMES (274637) and in the message/subject, type 5227 and your tip. You can continue to trade information with an investigator. Text STOP to opt out at any time.

If the information you give, leads to an arrest, you may be eligible for a reward. All calls are anonymous.

Police say this can be a good time to remind your kids about stranger danger.

"We always played games at our house when the kids were little of 'What if?'" said Hamblin.  "'What if this happens, what are you going to do?' Have a pre-made plan of what they can do. If somebody does approach them, know, tell them to run away. Know the trusted neighbors that you can go to."

Here are some general safety reminders from the Cedar Rapids Police Department for parents to remember:

• Know where your children are at. When they go out to play, set boundaries of where they can ride their bike or whose house they will be playing at.

• Be cognizant of what your children are wearing when they go out to play.

• Always carry a recent picture of the child. This should include their height, weight, hair and eye color.

• Talk to your children about strangers. You cannot always tell if a stranger is good or bad by what they are wearing or what kind of car they drive.

• Even if a stranger knows the child's name, talk to the child about not going with a stranger. Don't advertise your child's name on their bike or their clothing. And remind them not to accept gifts from strangers or help find lost pets.

• Have your child practice the buddy system whenever possible. Play with friends and not strangers.

• Practice situations with your children. If they are being lured by a stranger, have them yell "Fire" or "You're not my mom/dad."

• Talk to your child to educate them but not to scare them.


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