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Tuesday 26 March 2019

Gardaí say 'attempted child abduction' in supermarket car park 'not as sinister as first thought'

The officer was taken to University College Hospital to be treated for non-life threatening lacerations
The officer was taken to University College Hospital to be treated for non-life threatening lacerations

Sinead Kelleher

Frightened parents in Kerry have been reassured that what was believed to be an attempted abduction was not as sinister as first thought.

Panic set in across the town of Killorglin last Thursday after parents received text messages and social media alerts about what was understood to be an attempted abduction of a child in the underground car park at Library Place in Killorglin.

The incident occurred around 10am in the morning when a mother and two young children and their grandmother were shopping in Killorglin when they noted a male acting suspiciously when they were paying for groceries, the Kerryman reports.

He followed them to the lift leading to the underground car park and got in with them but there wasn’t enough room so he left the lift and appeared to be heading upstairs.

However, he was close by again when they exited the lift in the car park. The family were aware of his behaviour by this stage.

It is alleged that he then attempted to pick up the child from the ground but the mother grabbed him and started screaming. A member of the public then rushed to their aid.

The frightened mother immediately reported the incident to Gardaí.

Local childcare facilities then warned other parents on social media in the Mid Kerry area about the terrifying ordeal.

Her quick actions were praised by gardaí who said that it is very important that parents are vigilant about this type of behaviour.

The message sent to parents by text outlined the incident that had happened in a bid to warn of the terrifying incident.

Gardaí examined CCTV footage following the incident and it was discovered that the male in question may be the same person that is sought in relation to fraud incidents in Kerry and across the South West.

The man fled the scene after the woman screamed and was not apprehended.

It is understood that a male, similar to the description provided of this individual and from CCTV images – and an accomplice – have been involved in credit card fraud, monitoring shoppers paying for groceries to steal their pin number and later steal their cards.

Gardaí in Killarney confirmed that this incident is not a child abduction incident and that nobody is being sought in relation to it. However, they said that it is important to always report any such incidents to allow gardaí carry out investigations into such matter.


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