Reward offered for information in child abduction attempts |

Reward offered for information in child abduction attempts

Investigators are hoping a cash reward will bring solid leads on three child abduction attempts on South Shore.

Secret Witness board member Duane Wallace announced Wednesday a $2,500 reward for information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of the would-be abductors. The first two attempts were in early July in the Meyers area. The last one was Dec. 1 in Tahoe Keys.

“We were approached by a parent of the one of the children who was accosted and asked to help,” Wallace said. “This is consistent with the mission of Secret Witness, which is to prevent and solve crimes.”

Wallace said the intention of the reward is not to create “hysteria” among residents or a flood of false police reports.

“We just think parents, neighbors, citizens should be aware,” Wallace said.

Unfortunately, even before the reward investigators were diverted with false reports. Sgt. Randy Peshon of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department said on Tuesday he and South Lake Tahoe Police Detective Marty Hale determined a report from three 12-year-old girls was untrue. Peshon said charges against the girls for filing a false police report could be pending.

“You have to look at everything,” he said. “You never know it’s a good lead until you solve the case with it.”

Despite the false report, Peshon supports offering a reward.

In all three attempts the children described a manila or light tan, older van and two white males attempting to lure them into the van. All three children were approached when they were walking alone. In the Meyers incidents a 6-year-old boy, and 12-year-old girl were the targets. The girl approached in the Tahoe Keys is 9.

“We’re very lucky that these kids did what they were taught to do. They got away and went home and told us about it,” Peshon said.

Flyers about the attempts were distributed in December to California-side schools at the lake. Peshon said he believes teachers discussed the issue with their students.

Douglas County Sheriff’s Department has reported no child abduction attempts. Peshon said an inquiry sent to other regional law enforcement agencies produced no matches.

Peshon said the van possibly has scratches along the lower portion of each side. One man is described as blond and clean shaven. The other has messy black hair, a dark beard coming to a point, and bad teeth. He may also have a tattoo on his biceps.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Sgt. Peshon at (530) 573-3000 or Detective Hale at (530) 542-6100, or Secret Witness at (530) 541-6800.

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