PHOENIX - Authorities are stepping up their patrols in a Phoenix, Ariz. neighborhood in the wake of three near-kidnappings in the area just in the last month, reports CBS affiliate KPHO.
Officers are looking for two men in connection with the incidents, the most recent happening Thursday night.
Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump said an 11-year-old girl was riding her bike home in the Maryvale neighborhood of Phoenix around 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20 when a white van with yellow lettering and two men inside followed her and tried to cut her off, reports the station.
Neither occupant got out of the van and no words were exchanged, Crump said.
"They just kept on catching up to me. They stayed the same speed as me.
When I turned, they turned so they followed me wherever I went," said the
11-year-old victim, Neida, whose last name is being withheld.
Crump said the girl was able to escape and rode to a friend's house nearby where they called 911.
"I have [seen them before], but they haven't really followed me before, but I have seen them pass around," Neida told KPHO.
The vehicle involved in the Feb. 20 incident is described as a newer-model white Dodge van with dark tinted windows and possible taxi decals on the back and sides, authorities said.
A passenger inside the van reportedly matches a description of a suspect in two previous attempted-child abduction incidents in Maryvale.
The passenger is described as Hispanic, in his 30s, dark-skinned, heavy-set, with short dark hair and tattoos on his arms.
The driver of the van is described as Hispanic, in his 40s, heavy-set, thin mustache and tattoos on his biceps. He was seen wearing a blue short-sleeve shirt, according to the station.
On Feb. 6, a 14-year-old girl was forced into the front seat of a dark brown four-door car, similar to a Ford Taurus, while she was near her Maryvale home, police said.
On Feb. 18, the suspect forced an 11-year-old girl into a dark green minivan with a scratch on the hood and a sticker in a window while she was in front of her Maryvale home, according to the station.
Each of the victims escaped and no injuries were reported.
Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call police at 602-262-6141 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS (480-948-6377).