Indio police investigate possible abduction attempt

Man in van asked two boys for help in finding his lost dog

INDIO, Calif. -  Police were on the lookout Tuesday for a man reported to have who pulled up in his van alongside two boys on skateboards in Indio and asked if they could help him find a lost dog.

   The case is being investigated as a possible attempt to abduct the boys, cousins who are 12 and 13 and attend John Glenn Middle School.

   Police were called around 8:15 a.m. Monday to a Rite Aid store at 47-985 Monroe St. to interview the youths, who said they were riding west on Avenue  48 west of Monroe Street when they were approached by a man driving a van in  the same direction, said Indio police spokesman Ben Guitron.

   The driver pulled up alongside and spoke to the boys through the front passenger window, asking if they could help him find his dog, Guitron said.

   ``The male reached over to the front driver's door and appeared to open it,'' he said. ``The juveniles then ran away by riding their skateboards  westbound and the van sped off also westbound on Avenue 48.''

   The skateboarders said they'd never seen the man or the van before, Guitron said.

   ``He came out of nowhere. He looked sort of creepy and we had a bad vibe,'' the 13-year-old told the Desert Sun.

   The boys described the man as a balding Hispanic of between 40 and 50, of medium height and weight, with no facial hair, wearing a gray T-shirt. The vehicle was a gray older model van with a 6 on the license plate, whose state  of origin was unclear.

   Anyone with information on the possible abduction plotter was urged to call police at (760) 391-4057 or Coachella Valley Crime Stoppers at (760) 341- 7867.  

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