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Connecticut police have video of attempted abduction

July 19, 2012 1:49:16 PM PDT
An 11-year-old girl told police last week that a man in a gray minivan tried to abduct her within blocks of her home, and authorities soon found video evidence that she was telling the truth.

New Britain police on Thursday released that video, which was captured by a surveillance camera mounted on a nearby home.

The girl told police she was walking to a summer camp just before 8 a.m. last Friday on Highland Street when a man approached her in a gray minivan, began talking to her and tried to grab her. The girl ran home and told her mother.

The video shows the van approaching as the girl looks over her shoulder. The van stops just behind the girl as she walks out of the frame. She then reappears running in the opposite direction as the van takes off.

"She did everything right here," said police Sgt. Jeanette Saccente. "She ignored him, she continued walking and when he persisted, she ran back home to tell an adult."

Police haven't identified a suspect and said they are still working to identify the make and model of the minivan.

The man had to reach out the window and open his door with the outside handle when he was trying to get her inside, police said.

The driver is described as a man in his 30s or 40s with salt-and-pepper hair, a scruffy beard and a slim face.

Police said they came across the surveillance video last Friday while canvassing the neighborhood looking for witnesses. Police Chief James Wardwell said authorities initially held on to it but decided to make it public when other leads failed to turn up a suspect.

"We try to always have some nugget of information that only the bad guy will know," Wardwell said. "Because obviously when we capture this person, we want to be able to prove in a court of law that they are the one that did it. So we balance everything with the needs of what we're going to need for prosecution with furthering the investigation by making some of this information public."

Police said they haven't received any other reports of abduction attempts but are working with nearby towns to look over all reports of suspicious vehicles.

"Once the public sees this video, somebody out there will be familiar with this," Det. Michael Cummiskey said.

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