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Police investigate second reported abduction attempt near Molalla

The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the second abduction attempt to take place in Molalla within the last week.

The second incident, reported Tuesday, May 13, took place on Vaughan Road Road. Deptuties had already been investigating the attempted abduction of a 10-year-old girl near Acer Lane and Rosewood Way which took place on Saturday, May 10.

Sgt. Nate Thompson, spokesperson for the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, said detectives in his office are seriously regarding the second incident.

“They are still actively working on it,” Thompson said Friday.

At this time, it does not appear to detectives that the two cases are related. “But they are similar in nature,” he said.

In the second incident, two young girls were playing in the front yard of their family home after school when two suspects in a red or maroon Dodge mini-van drove slowly down Vaughan Road past the house. It was reported that the passenger got out of the van and was lingering across the road from where the girls were playing.

The driver was described as a Hispanic man, about 40. The passenger was described as a Hispanic man, about 20, both clean-shaven.

At about 5:45 p.m., Tuesday, the girls’ mother, who said she was also outdoors, saw the van turn around in the road and approach the house three times, stopping in front of the house on the third trip. At that moment, the girls' father reportedly drove into the driveway, and the suspects took off in the van.

In the first reported attempt on Saturday, May 10, a young girl said she was pushing her bike home from a friend’s house. She was near Acer Lane and Rosewood Way when a man hiding in the bushes started chasing her and grabbed her leg. She jumped on her bike and got away, then reported the incident to her family as soon as she got home.

The suspect in that case was described as a Hispanic man with a large mustache, between 40 and 50 years old. He was wearing jeans, boots and a dark baseball cap. Deputies believe the man is associated with an older-model red van that has been seen in the area.

Both incidents occurred on rural roads near the edge of town, within short a distance from state highways.

Although detectives are not convinced the two incidents are related, the circumstances are similar in nature, and police are advising that parents be especially alert when their children are outdoors.

Since both incidents took place outside city limits, Molalla Police are not currently involved in the investigations, said Molalla Police spokesperson Aaron Christopherson.

“But everyone is on edge, so we are receiving lots of calls about suspicious vehicles, which is good,” he said. “People need to be on high alert.”

Following the second incident, Molalla River School District Superintendent Tony Mann sent a letter home to parents warning them of the situation. He also sent a “Stranger Danger” alert for parents to discuss with their children.

Deputies say both incidents are being actively investigated, and more information will be released as it becomes available.