CRIME

Saratoga Springs police are investigating possible attempted kidnappings

Apr 26, 2024, 7:11 PM | Updated: 7:31 pm

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Springs Police Department is on alert after several recent reports of attempted kidnappings.

“To us, they’re all credible until we can prove that they’re not,” said Saratoga Springs Assistant Police Chief Bill Robertsons.

Since April 18th, Saratoga Springs police have received eight to 10 calls of suspicious activity in the Harvest Hills community. Two of the reports were for a possible attempted kidnapping at Harvest Hills Park, located at 2104 N Providence Drive.

“We got the first call for service (April 18), where a 12-year-old girl was walking home and stated that a white van had pulled up in the street next to her and had asked her to come get in the van,” said Robertson. “At that point, she started to walk away from the van, and the male started to open the door to get out. She started running home, and he got back in and left the area. That’s that statement we got from her and her parents.”

The second possible attempted kidnapping case involved a 10-year-old boy who was walking his dog in Harvest Hills Park on the 17th or 18th. Police say he reported a man came up from behind him in broad daylight. That case, however, wasn’t reported until April 25th.

“His statement was somebody came up behind him and assaulted him or attempted to grab him. He fought the guy off,” Robertson said.

As word of the possible attempted kidnappings spread in the community – police have received several more calls of suspicious vehicles and activity.

In a letter written by one concerned parent and distributed among neighbors in the Harvest Hills area, it warns of suspicious encounters in Concord Park, Shay Park, and West Vineyard Park.

Robertson is aware of the letter and appreciates the community’s effort to keep each other safe.

“When those types of stories are shared on social media and in the neighborhood, people become hypersensitive about their surroundings, which is a good thing, and anything suspicious, we want them to call us,” he said.

The letter that the parent wrote and sent to other residents.

The letter that the parent wrote and sent to other residents. (KSL TV)

Saratoga Springs police do not have a consistent suspect or vehicle description to release to the public. Robertson said each caller reported different information, and so far, there has been no security video of the encounters.

In two of the more recent calls, he said the families have informed the police that their initial call may have been a false report after gathering more information from their child.

“There is a lot of inconsistences with the description of the suspect, we have white sedans now with a male and female in them, parked at the church or parked at the park,” Robertson said.

As police continue to sort out the information coming in, Robertson wants families to know that they take each report seriously. He said the community should see an increase in police presence in the area.

“We are using all our assets, obviously we’ve increased our patrols and will do extra patrols in the area. We also have some other assets that no one is going to know about that we’re doing,” Robertson said.

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Saratoga Springs police are investigating possible attempted kidnappings