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Kidnappers attempt to snatch 2 girls near Shelton school

Shelton Attempted Kidnappings (KOMO Photo)

UPDATE: Shelton Police Chief Darrin Moody says there are some doubts now in the 12-year-old's story in the first attempted kidnapping after some discrepancies have appeared between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. They are still investigating the case. Moody says they are about to re-interview the 8-year-old but have no reason to doubt her story yet.

"Police will continue to investigate the incidents to their completion and give any further updates to ensure the safety of our community," Moody said.

Original Story as Follows:

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SHELTON, Wash. -- Shelton police are investigating two attempted kidnappings of young girls Tuesday afternoon in the same area.

In the first instance, a 12-year-old girl was walking home from school just before 3 p.m. when she was approached by a man in a car in the 1500 block of Jefferson Street near Olympic Middle School and Mountain View Elementary School, according to Shelton Police Chief Darrin Moody. The man told the girl to get into the car or he would "hurt" her.

The girl dropped her backpack and screamed for help as she ran down the street, Moody said. A neighbor heard the screams and had the girl run to him as he called 911. Shelton officers raced to the scene.

The man in that incident was described as driving a light brown SUV similar to a Chevy Tahoe. He was described as Caucasian, about 30 years old with a skinny build and wearing an orange cap. Police are still interviewing the girls and witnesses to try to get a better suspect description.

“We couldn’t have asked for better,” said Moody. “These kids did exactly what they should have done in that situation. I give kudos to the parents for being able to talk to their kids about this.”

Then about an hour later, an 8-year-old girl was walking along "K" Street near Jefferson Street after exiting a school bus and said a man in a car approached her and told her to come to him. She ran to a nearby home and police were called.

The neighborhood which is typically bustling with children after school was stunningly quiet Tuesday night.

Parents like the Beleeles kept their children indoors after they heard the about the kidnapping attempts.

“Oh my God I just wanted to grab my daughter,” said Lance Beleele. “I told her today after we got home no, no you’re not going outside by yourself after hearing this. And this is a nice neighborhood we see kids walking by here every day going to school just down the road.”

It's not known yet if the same suspect is involved in both incidents, says Capt. Mike Fiola with Shelton Police. He says the suspect descriptions are somewhat different, but have some similarities. In the second event, the suspect was driving a light blue, Jeep-type car and was described as white or Hispanic, with long sleeve white/blue plaid short with brown hair and was wearing glasses.

"That's why I always want to say, ‘stranger danger,’" said Christi Beleele. “Talk to them, always pay attention to your surroundings but in broad daylight that's really scary."

If you have any information on either case, you're asked to call Shelton Police at 360-426-4441.

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