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Two Kidnapping Attempts Reported
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Riverbank Police have warned local schools and parents are taking precautions following reports of two attempts to kidnap schoolchildren.

Superintendent of Schools Ken Geisick said a letter was sent home on Friday, Jan. 9 describing the incidents and advising students to walk in pairs or groups, carry a cell phone if possible and avoid strangers.

The first incident happened on Thursday, Jan. 8 while an 11-year-old girl was walking home from California Avenue School. She told detectives a car with two men in it approached her from behind as she was walking on California Avenue. The passenger opened his door and told the victim that her mother had called and told them to pick her up from school. She started running along the road to her grandmother's residence. The suspects in the vehicle followed her for a short distance and then left the area.

The girl described the suspects as clean shaven Hispanic men in their 30s or 40s who were both wearing black-hooded sweatshirts and driving an older, white compact, four-door sedan with tinted windows in the front and back and a dent in the rear passenger-side bumper.

The second incident occurred on Friday morning, Jan. 9 when another female student, also 11 but walking to Cardozo Middle School, was accosted by a man in the area of Eighth Street and Patterson Road. The suspect allegedly grabbed the victim by the right arm but she kicked him in the groin and was able to get away.

The suspect is described as a white man with a tan, about 25, five feet eight inches tall and 140 pounds with brown hair and clean-shaven.

He reportedly was wearing an orange baseball cap, tab pants, and an orange waist-length jacket with a zipper up the front and patch on the chest.

One child provided detectives with a good description of the suspect. Detectives have followed up on several leads but had no other information for release as of press time.

Anyone with information about these cases is encouraged to contact Riverbank Police Services Detective James Walsh at 209-869-7162. Callers can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at 209-521-4636 and be eligible for a cash reward.