Arcadia : Police Look for Links in 5 Child Kidnapings

Police detectives in the San Gabriel Valley are trying to determine if the kidnaping and sexual assault of five children since February is the work of one man. Three of the children were taken from homes at night and two were picked up in front of schools.

Investigators said there are similarities in all of the incidents, which have involved children from 6 to 10 years of age. In the latest incident, a 6-year-old girl was taken from an Arcadia home in the early morning of June 27, sexually abused and released.

Arcadia Detective Louise Brandsma said the girl was asleep when an intruder entered through her bedroom window. She said the girl, only half-awake, thought she was in her father's arms as she was carried out of the house, and did not scream. The girl was taken between 1:30 and 3 a.m. and released a few hours later at a gas station in Los Angeles.

Other children who have been abducted, sexually assaulted and released were a 6-year-old girl taken Feb. 25 from a bench in front of Wilcox School in Montebello, a 9-year-old boy taken March 11 from his home in Monterey Park, an 8-year-old girl taken March 20 from her home in the Glassell Park area of Los Angeles and an 8-year-old girl taken June 5 from the front of Ralph Waldo Emerson School in Rosemead.

The children have given varying descriptions of their kidnapers and the vehicles in which they were transported, but Brandsma said the children have trouble estimating ages and giving accurate descriptions, and the crimes may have been committed by the same person. One common factor is that all the children were released a few hours after their abductions.

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