Keller ISD families vow to 'stick together' after attempted abductions

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by TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @toddWFAA8

WFAA

Posted on May 22, 2014 at 10:47 PM

Updated Friday, May 23 at 6:58 AM

FORT WORTH -- Families that have students at two well-known elementary schools in Keller ISD are vowing to protect each other and be vigilant following several attempted abductions in less than two weeks.

Extra security and an increased police presence were on display outside of Woodland Springs Elementary all day on Thursday. A student there reported being asked to jump into a red pickup truck by a stranger on Wednesday afternoon.

That follows an incident last week in which a boy student from Caprock Elementary School - about a mile away from Woodland Springs - also reported an attempt by a stranger to get into a car.

A third incident reported Thursday night about four miles from the first two wasn't thought to be related, according to Fort Worth police.

In both of the first two cases, the suspect is described as white male, 30-to-40 years of age, with shorter brown hair and a tattoo with three crosses inside circles. He was described to be driving either a red pickup, or a darker sedan or pick up.

"It really has people scared, no question," said Ashley Hinrichs, who lives just down the street from the schools. "My niece is always here playing, and our neighborhood is filled with kids."

Smiley Transportation, which operates eight private vans that pick up and drop students in Keller ISD, said it spent part of Thursday reviewing video surveillance from its vans, looking for anything suspicious.

"Our cameras see 360 degrees," said Rushelle Wetzel.

Thursday evening, close to 20 folks gathered at a home about a mile from Woodland Springs. The concerned parents exchanged ideas about how to start a safe house program, and what to do to help kids over the coming Memorial Day weekend.

A third attempted abduction was reported on Thursday night in the same area.  But Fort Worth police said there was no indication it was related, and that details didn't match up with the two previous incidents.

Anyone with any information about any of the cases are encouraged to contact Fort Worth police.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

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