SAFB releases sketch of attempted abduction suspect

News-DemocratApril 17, 2014 

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A sign welcomes visitors through the Belleville Gate entrance at Scott Air Force Base.

SSGT CHAD R. GANN, USAF — Chad R. Gann, USAF

Scott Air Force Base security forces have released a description of the suspect accused of trying to lure two children into a van, causing the base to go on high alert.

The suspect is reported to be a middle-aged black man with black and gray hair and a bald spot on the back of his head. Witnesses said he appeared to be missing one or two teeth and he was driving a black van on Morningside Circle.

Base spokeswoman Karen Petitt said security forces are currently reviewing video surveillance footage, taken from security cameras on base, for images of the suspects.

She said the man must have ties to either the military or a contractor on base to get on the post.

"We are a secure facility," Petitt said. "There is no way a civilian could just wander on base. Everyone has to have an identification card, a pass or a sponsor to get in."

Two 8-year-old girls reported the man approached them Wednesday afternoon and tried to entice them into his vehicle. A security sweep was conducted on the base, which caused about a 45-minute delay for employees leaving the post at the end of their work day.

The suspect could not be located.

Petitt discounted some media reports Wednesday that said the base went on "high alert" after the reported abduction attempt.

She said the base was never locked down and attributed delays in getting off the post to security forces stopping or slowing traffic leaving the area so they could look for the suspect and his vehicle.

Anyone with information about the suspect is urged to call the base's Crime Stop Hotline at 256-1160.

Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at swuerz@bnd.com or call 239-2626.

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