Police: Would-be abductor may be targeting kids in TWO counties

6:54 AM, Mar 28, 2012   |    comments
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GWINNETT CO., Ga. (WXIA) -- The man has taken pictures of a young girl, ordered a young boy into his car with a gun, and even chased another young girl through her apartment complex. Now after four attempted abductions since late January, Gwinnett County police are asking the public to be on alert for the mystery assailant.

Juawana Holmes said her 11-year-old niece was one of the man's victims. On March 13, he chased her through her apartment complex off of Jimmy Carter Boulevard on the way to her bus stop. Now Holmes is taking every precaution she can with her niece, while warning other parents as well.

"Early in the morning, I get up to drive her to the bus stop, I will not let her walk anymore," Holmes said. "And it's kind of sad, because she's almost 12 years old. I hate to put such a tight leash on her, but she knows she could have been in danger."

RELATED | Police: Man attempting to abduct children in Gwinnett County

When the would-be abductor wasn't wearing a black mask, the children were able only to get a brief look at him, and they've described him in general terms -- he is black, in his mid-30s, is either bald or has short hair, sometimes has facial hair, has a deep voice, and drives a gold sedan, like a Chevy Malibu or a Toyota Corolla.

Gwinnett County police have received dozens of tips since they decided to go public with the warnings, but their detectives are still waiting for clues that will lead to a suspect.

Detectives are also asking if the same man is also the one who attacked children in February and March in DeKalb County -- in particular, the man who grabbed a child on March 5. (The child was able to get away.)

"They've reached out to DeKalb County police to compare notes," said Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Jake Smith. "I don't think they have anything real strong as far as descriptions that match. But the fact that it is a black male in a mask makes us think that it could be related."

All the children have been able to run away, and escape to safety.

At first, the man was simply trying to entice children, ages 8 to 14, to go with him in his gold sedan. But the assaults against them have grown increasingly aggressive.

His first known contact with a child this year was on Jan. 31 in Norcross, and he has emerged to accost children about every two weeks since then. The most recent time was two weeks ago when, wearing the black mask, he chased Holmes' niece.

"All these children are terrified now," Holmes said. "They're terrified. And the parents are. But they should be. Because you've got to be cautious. You never know."

Police consider the man to be armed and dangerous.

Police are asking people with information, or who see something suspicious, to call 911 immediately, or the Gwinnett County Police Criminal Investigations Section, 770-513-5300. 

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