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Police Warn Of Attempted Child Abductions In Bridgeport

UPDATED 06/29/11 5:26 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — A man who has been trying to abduct young children remains on the loose in the Bridgeport neighborhood.

As CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports, it’s a reminder to all of us, that to keep our kids safe this summer we need to be on alert.

With kids headed outside to the sidewalks, and ball fields of Bridgeport, word someone is trying to victimize their children has parents on edge.

Police say the man was seen following children as they left Healy Elementary School, 3010 S. Parnell Ave. In some instances, he tried to lure them into his car.

As CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole explains, the warning has parents reviewing safety rules.

“It makes us nervous, we have a lot of young kids in the neighborhood, ” says Michael Mancine from his front stoop in Bridgeport. His daughters and their two cousins are playing catch on the sidewalk nearby.

“I am worried about my kids lives, if my kids is grabbed or taken and never come home, ” says Mary Kaye Bailey, whose boys are enjoying a cool summer evening beside her at Armour Park.

At Healy, CBS 2’s cameras spotted children playing on their own without supervision. The school is on the very same block where police say around lunchtime, the suspect tried twice last week to follow children and lure them inside his car.

“Hopefully we can all keep an eye out for this person and apprehend him, ” says Mancine.

Police have released a sketch, identifying the suspect as a white male, medium build, 20 to 23 years old. He’s between 5 feet 7 and 5 feet 9 inches tall with close cut blond hair.

Chicago police said the man was spotted driving a gray four-door vehicle with tinted windows on one occasion, and driving a black four-door vehicle with tinted windows on a second occasion.

“If anybody approaches you go the other way, never talk to adults especially strangers, ” says Valencia Burney of Bridgeprot, a mother of two.

“If some does approach you all my kids have phones believe it or not and if something happens I have them call 911, ” adds Bailey.

They’re modern parents are also longing for a different time.

“Used to be we could walk to the park and trust them to go to the park but that’s not the case anymore, ” says Mancine.

Anyone with information about the suspect should call Wentworth Area detectives at (312) 747-8380.

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