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Man tries to kidnap two toddlers playing outside L.A. apartment complex

A man tried to kidnap two toddlers Tuesday night as they played outside their apartment complex in Los Angeles, police said.

The toddlers, ages 2 and 3, were playing with five other children about 6:50 p.m. in the courtyard of the complex in the 1700 block of South Westmoreland Boulevard in Harvard Heights, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

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As they played, the man scaled a chain-link fence at the back of the complex, grabbed the two toddlers and tried to carry them away, police said.

But the other frightened children began to scream, so he dropped the toddlers and ran away.

"This is extremely concerning to us because obviously it appears to be planned based on the way he was dressed and trying to disguise himself and [it] being a brazen attempted abduction," LAPD Capt. Vito Palazzolo told reporters.

A boy told KTLA-TV that the toddlers were chasing after a ball when the unidentified man snatched them, carrying them under his arms.

Neighbors saw the man looking into a building window in the same neighborhood, KTLA reported.

The man was described as Latino, about 25 years old, with black hair and brown eyes, 6 feet tall and weighing 150 pounds. The man was wearing a wide-brimmed hat, dark sunglasses, a red T-shirt, blue jeans and white shoes. He had blue braces on his teeth.

Anyone with information is asked to call the LAPD's Olympic Area robbery detectives at (213) 382-9460.

For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA.

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