A Poway neighborhood is on alert after parents were notified of a possible child abduction attempt Thursday.
Investigators said two young brothers, a 12-year-old and a 9-year-old, were walking on Martincoit Road in Poway's Green Valley neighborhood just after 6 p.m. when a white van with three men inside reportedly followed the two young boys, according to the San Diego Sheriff's Department (SDSO).
The van pulled up to the brothers and a man wearing a ski mask allegedly tried to snatch the 12-year-old from the window as he yelled, “Get in the car!”
The boy was able to escape the suspect’s grip, and moments later the van sped off. The two boys ran to a friend’s home and called authorities, according to a report.
The mother of the two boys said the family is shaken up and is glad they are safe. They have been cooperating with investigators.
The Poway Unified School District sent out a message to parents at all schools in the district about the incident.
One woman, Rebecca Cole, who lives in the area, found out from a friend early Friday morning.
Cole’s 9-year-old daughter and her friend usually walk to each other’s homes for play dates after school.
They live seven houses down from each other, but after finding out about the attempted abduction, Cole said she and her neighbor are now chaperoning the two young girls.
Cole said she may be overly cautious but she feels better knowing there is a chaperone.
As of Friday night, the men involved in the alleged incident had not been arrested.
“It’s troubling because you never know if someone's going to copycat it or if they will strike again and just maybe go further south are further north,” said Cole.
The van was described as an older model, dirty, white van with a noticeable dent over the rear passenger tire well.
Investigators ask anyone with information to contact the Poway Sheriff’s Office.