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Attempted abduction reports raise panic throughout area

ROUND LAKE -- Reports of attempted abductions have area communities and school districts on high alert.

The Lyon County, Iowa, Sheriff's Office is investigating an attempted abduction of a 61-year-old female on Wednesday from outside of her residence in Little Rock.

Lake Park, Iowa, Chief of Police Joe Hoover has issued a press release stating that Lake Park Police were dispatched to reports of a man who was following a girl on Monday and another similar incident Tuesday in which a 35-year-old woman was approached by a male driving a white van.

On Friday, a suspicious person was spotted outside the school building in Round Lake, according to Nobles County Sheriff Deputy Lonnie Roloff, but there's no evidence the sighting was directly related to the previous incidents.

"We did not have a possible abduction," Roloff stated. "There was a suspicious person that matches the description from the previous possible abductions, but no contact was made; the person did not attempt to get anybody in the car. ... We are classifying it as a suspicious person. It does, however, match the description, but a lot of people match the description of a white man with gray hair."

The suspect in the Little Rock attempted abduction is described as being a white male, 60 to 65 years of age, with long hair and a beard. His hair and beard were described as being brown with gray in them both. He is approximately 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs approximately 250 pounds. The subject was driving a smaller, older, dark-colored (possibly black) car with a white top.

The female involved in the Lake Park incident described the white male as 60 to 66 years old with a beard and large framed prescription eyeglasses. The suspect vehicle appeared to be a 1990s or newer white van with two rear door windows blacked out with Dickinson County plates.

At least one northwest Iowa school district issued an alert to parents on Friday afternoon, advising parents to call the school to arrange rides for students who were walking.

"Schools are a little panicked, and that's OK," said Roloff. "As a parent, I don't mind if the schools are a little panicked."

Anyone in the region who notices suspicious activity or has further information on any of these incidents is asked to contact their local law enforcement center.

Beth Rickers

Beth Rickers is the veteran in the newspaper staff with 25 years as the Daily Globe's Features Editor. Interests include cooking, traveling and beer tasting and making with her home-brewing husband, Bryan. She writes an Area Voices blog called Lagniappe, which is a Creole term that means "a little something extra." It can be found at http://lagniappe.areavoices.com/.  

(507) 376-7327
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