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Two young girls escape from kidnapper, Whittier police say

February 21, 2013 |  9:04 pm

Map of the area where the girls escaped

Whittier police were seeking a kidnapping suspect Thursday night after two young girls were apparently forced into a car.

About 2:30 p.m. Thursday, an 11-year-old girl walking alone was grabbed by a man and put in the back seat of his vehicle, according to the Whittier Police Department.

"While inside, she noticed a younger female, approximately 7 years old, in the back seat crying," police said in a statement.

The 11-year-old was able to get herself and the other girl out the vehicle in front of Founders Memorial Park near Broadway and Citrus Avenue.

"They both ran in opposite directions," police said.

The older girl made her way home and called police. The younger girl's whereabouts were not known, police said Thursday night.

Police said they had not received any reports of missing children.

Two similar incidents took place on Feb. 5., police said.

In the first, about 11:30 a.m., a man asked a 17-year-old girl if she wanted a ride. The girl said no, but he stopped his car and opened the door, according to police. The girl took off running. The incident took place in the 13000 block of Broadway, near the area where Thursday's kidnapping was reported.

In the second case, a witness reported seeing a man trying to get two teenage girls into his car in the 6700 block of Washington Avenue, according to police.

Police said they believe the cases are related. 

In all three cases, the man was reportedly driving a red convertible with a tan roof. He is described to be 25 to 30 years old and about 5 feet, 11 inches tall with a medium to heavy build. In the most recent incident, the victim described him as having short black hair, with a tattoo of three dots on his left hand.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Police Department at (562) 567-9241 or Det. Woods at (562) 567-9286.

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-- Robert J. Lopez

twitter.com/LAJourno

Map shows the area where police said the girls escaped Thursday. Credit: Google Maps
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