San Diego

2 kidnapping attempts under investigation in Murphy Canyon, San Diego police say

It was not immediately clear if police suspect the same individual in both cases but a detailed description of a possible suspect was provided for the first kidnapping attempt on Aug. 4

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San Diego police are investigating after two recent kidnapping attempts in the Murphy Canyon area of San Diego.

The most recent kidnapping attempt happened last Friday at about 1:30 p.m. at the Snook Street playground off of Bordelon Street. A white car approached a 9-year-old girl, rolled down the window and asked the girl to take some candy, according to SDPD Lt. Adam Sharki.

SDPD's investigation into the incident alerted authorities to another similar attempt that happened exactly one week prior just a few streets away.

On Aug. 4, as a boy was retrieving mail from the communal mailbox on Laffey Court, a man in a white car drove up behind the boy, got our of the car and "reached out his hands in a hugging motion," Sharki said. The boy's mom, who was watching the boy, yelled when she saw this happen and the man took off.

No injuries were reported in either case.

It was not immediately clear if police suspect the same individual in both cases. In the most recent case, the man was described as an "older" man with a beard who was wearing a hat and sunglasses at the time.

In the Aug. 4 case, the description was much more detailed. The man is believed to be 25-29 years old, about 5 feet 9 inches and 175 pounds with brown hair in a "high and tight cut." The man had a one-inch scar on the right side of his chin and was wearing a green long-sleeve shirt and jeans at the time of the incident. The vehicle was described as a 90s to 2000s honda "with a weathered look."

San Diego police has increased daily patrol in the area.

Shawna Skelton, a parent in the neighborhood, said she was shocked to learn what had happened in the neighborhood but was doing what she could to keep her kids safe.

"It was scary and shocking because I have never lived anywhere or been around anything where I had to worry about a kidnapping," Shawna Skelton, a parent in the neighborhood said. "For me personally, I’m a very paranoid person so I’m going to go out of my way to make sure my kids are safe. So if that means staying out here with them longer than I usually would, then that’s what I’m going to do to make sure my kids are safe."

SDPD asked anyone with information to contact Easter Division detectives, who are investigating the case. Tips can also be made anonymously through CrimeStoppers.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story identified the area as Tierrasanta. The neighborhood is Murphy Canyon.

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