Another attempted child abduction in Mesa; investigators release suspect sketch

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

MESA, Ariz. -- Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies are on the hunt for a man who tried to snatch a 2-year-old girl off the street earlier this week.

Investigators released a sketch of the suspect late Wednesday morning.

According to Jeff Sprong of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, a man between 55 and 60 years old approached the little girl as she was standing outside the A & M Market on Main Street west of the Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway in Mesa.

Sprong said the man grabbed the toddler by the arm and started to walk away with her. The little girl's mother confronted the man and he immediate let the girl go and ran away, disappearing into a nearby culvert.

The little girl was not hurt.

The suspect is described as a white man, about 6 feet tall with a thin build. He has curly white and brown hair that's about shoulder length and a white beard. He was wearing a white, short-sleeve T-shirt and blue khaki-style pants. Sprong said the man was described as being very dirty like a transient might be.

This is the latest in a string of recent attempted abductions in the East Valley. Investigators do not believe this incident is connected to any of the other cases.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call MCSO at 602-876-1000 and refer to incident report #2011-200757.