Turlock Police investigated an attempted kidnapping that occurred Wednesday near Turlock High School. A 13 year old middle school student told officers that while walking to school, she was forced into a black van by a Hispanic male. The girl reported fighting off this attacker and a White male inside the cargo area of the vehicle. There were two other males within the driver area of the van.
The victim continued to school, telling a friend of the incident a short while later. Near the end of the school day, the second student felt compelled to notify a school official who in turn contacted police. Turlock School District Officials issued a parent alert.
Recognizing the similarity to an attempted kidnapping in Modesto on January 5, investigators are working to determine any connection between the two crimes. School Resource Officers have been alerted to the vehicle and suspect descriptions and additional patrol resources have been diverted to local schools.
Today (Thursday), the lead investigator met with the student and a family member for support. After reviewing the incident in detail, the student broke down and admitted that she had fabricated the story after being pressured by a peer.
Although this incident was not real, similar crimes do occur. The Turlock Police Department encourages parents to talk with their children about stranger danger and develop safe routes to and from school which includes walking in groups.
Police and school district officials will continue to work collaboratively to ensure the safety of all students. Questions regarding this incident should be directed to Captain Mike Langston at 664-7370 or 678-6255.
The Turlock Police Department is an active participant in the Crime Stoppers Program. Callers can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 and may be eligible for a cash reward.