ID issues stall investigation of attempted child abduction

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Photo by Victor Moreno

After an attempted child abduction last week in Rancho El Dorado, Maricopa Police have questioned a suspect, but due to a lack of definitive identification, no arrest has been made.

Last Wednesday about 7 p.m., according to a Facebook post on The Original City of Maricopa, AZ page, the following occurred:

“ALERT: ATTEMPTED CHILD ABDUCTION UPDATED:

“Had taken pictures of a vehicle, ‘doing a very slow drive by looking at my neighbor’s son’ at 7 p.m. last Wednesday, June 1 in Rancho El Dorado. The suspect was driving a black 4-door compact SUV.

“According to the family of the boy, the vehicle was driven by an older white male who got out of his car, opened the door and yelled, ‘Hey kid, get in my car!!’”

The child confirmed the vehicle in the pictures on Facebook was the vehicle he saw, according to the Facebook post.

This car was identified as that of a man who tried to lure a young boy into the vehicle last week in Rancho El Dorado. Maricopa Police and Pinal County Sheriffs are investigating the matter.

Maricopa Police spokesman Sgt. Hal Koozer said law enforcement is investigating the incident and stopped a vehicle matching the description of the one in the Facebook post.

“A traffic stop was performed by (Pinal County Sheriff’s Office) on June 5 on a vehicle that matched the description on the Facebook post of the possible vehicle involved,” Koozer said. “There was insufficient information from the victim to be able to match the exact vehicle and driver to the incident.”

Koozer said an obstacle in the investigation is the lack of a definitive identification of the suspect’s vehicle, a dark, compact SUV.

“That is part of the problem,” Koozer said. “It was a black or blue car. A picture of a possible is all we have; it appears to be a Nissan.”

The child who was approached could not positively identify the vehicle.

Koozer said this appears to be an isolated incident and this is the only recent report of this type.

He also offered tips for parents and neighbors to help keep children safe.

“We would like adults and children to be aware of their surroundings and to report any suspicious behavior,” Koozer said. “Often times, citizens don’t want to bother the police with what they believe is an isolated incident. What they don’t understand is that this may only be one incident that is connected to others we are investigating.”

He added that if anyone has any further information about the incident, they can contact the Maricopa Police Department non-emergency line at 520-568-3673.