Town Shaken After 3rd Child Abduction Attempt

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VERMILION, Ohio -- Police in Vermilion are investigating another report of an attempted child abduction near the high school.

Police say two boys, ages 9 and 10, were riding their bikes eastbound on Sailorway Drive after school on October 19, around 2:30 p.m.

According to the police report, the boys were approached by a man in a white van at the intersection of Sailorway Drive and Sanford Street. He reportedly said, "Come here, nice boy."

The boys said they passed the van on their bikes, but the man continued to follow them, saying, "Come here, I have something for you." Police said the van continued to follow the boys for some time, before eventually trailing off. One of the victims' mothers notified police once they returned home.

"Two boys said that they were on their way home from school, a man in a white van asked them to come to the van and come to him, of course they did the right thing, yelled and got out of there as quick as they could and told their mom," said Vermilion Officer Steve Kopniske.

Police said there are no suspects at this time, but that the man's description is similar to that of another recent incident in the area.

This is the third attempted child abduction in the Vermilion area so far this year. There were other attempts in May and June, but the incidents all involved different vehicles. Police said Friday's abduction attempt involved a van.

"The kids describe it as a white work van, panel van, with no windows on the side, an older gentleman around 65, white male, white mustache, white baseball hat and sunglasses," said Kopniske.

Police now have more officers patrolling the school areas before and after school, but that isn't stopping some parents from worrying about who could be lurking in their normally quiet and safe neighborhood.

"That's unbelievable for this town," said Ed Bruck, of Vermilion. "The town is so small, everyone knows each other, we are such a good community. I can't say how bad it feels. It's unbelievable."

Vermilion police are checking surveillance video from the high school and the middle school to see if the reported white panel van was caught on tape.

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