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2 attempted kidnappings of children in Glendale have police and parents on alert

Police in Glendale warned the public late Wednesday about the attempted abductions of two young children in a 20-minute period.

In both foiled kidnappings, a person approached the children and said words to the effect of, “You’re so cute,” according to Glendale police Sgt. Robert William.

“Any person that’s willing to stop a car…. and approach a child is very dangerous,” William said. “Anyone with information: we’d really appreciate it.”

The first attempted kidnapping took place just after 5 p.m. near Chevy Chase Drive and Adams Street, where a person snatched a 14-month-old child from a stroller pushed by the child’s mother, William said.

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The mother fought with the suspect and eventually recovered the child before the assailant fled.

About 20 minutes later, a person hopped out of a four-door silver sedan at John Marshall Elementary School and tried to kidnap a 3-year-old boy, William said.

The child’s brother witnessed what happened and called 911, and the mother was standing nearby and was able to intercept the kidnapping, prompting the suspect to drive away.

The witnesses have given different descriptions of the suspect with some overlapping qualities, and police cautioned there could be multiple people involved.

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“Investigators are trying to determine how many suspects we have with this incident,” William added. But he said they are “pretty confident” the two cases are related and have the same suspects.

The mother in the first incident described the would-be abductor as a Latino woman in her 50s with short, thick hair and heavy winter clothes who fled in a silver sedan with a license plate that partly reads 7HY or 7YH, he said.

The second mother described the person as a man in his late 40s or 50s with a scruffy beard and salt-and-pepper hair. The 8-year-old child who witnessed the attempted abduction of his younger brother said the person appeared to be a man but “dressed like a woman,” William said in a statement.

A robocall went out to parents in the Glendale Unified School District, and Superintendent Winfred Roberson issued a message to parents and families late Wednesday saying that school administrators would be extra cautious Thursday.

“We will have increased adult presence at drop-off and pick-up locations,” Roberson said. “We take these reports seriously and are taking all necessary steps to help keep our students safe.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Glendale Police Department at (818) 548-4911.

For more news in California, follow @MattHjourno.

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