PHOENIX – Phoenix police are investigating an attempted kidnapping near McDowell Road and 31st Avenue that they say was similar to two others that happened in the same general area.
Sgt. Trent Crump said an 11-year-old girl was riding her bike north on 31st Avenue Thursday evening when a white van with yellow lettering on the front doors pulled in front of her, apparently trying to cut her off.
Two men were in the van. Crump said neither occupant got out of the vehicle and there was no physical or verbal contact with the victim.
The girl rode her bike to a nearby friend's home and the vehicle followed her. A family friend saw the van parked by the house and as he approached the vehicle, it sped away.
The driver was described as a Hispanic male in his 40s, heavy set with a thin mustache, tattoos on his biceps and wearing a blue short-sleeved shirt. The passenger was described as a Hispanic male in his 30s, dark skinned, heavy set with short dark hair and tattoos on his arms.
The suspect vehicle is described as a white, newer model Dodge van with dark tinted windows and possible taxi decals on the back and sides.
Two other kidnapping attempts in the area were reported this month.
On Feb. 6, a 14-year-old girl was standing near her home on the 1800 block of North 38th Avenue when she was forced into a vehicle, according to police. The teen reportedly was driven a short distance and then released.
Police said someone attempted to force an 11-year-old girl into a vehicle while she was standing in front of her home on the 2800 block of West Granada Road Tuesday afternoon.
Neither girl was injured, but one reported seeing a gun in the front seat of the suspect's vehicle.
The girls provided investigators with different vehicle descriptions, but police said there were similarities in the suspect descriptions.
Police do not know if the three crimes are related.
Detectives are asking anyone with information to contact the Phoenix Police Department's Violent Crimes Bureau at 602-262-6141 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS if they wish to remain anonymous.