Sketch released of man who tried to abduct girl, 9, in Miami-Dade County

Incident reported Thursday night, police say

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Miami-Dade police released a sketch Wednesday of a man they said tried to abduct a 9-year-old girl last week.

The incident occurred around 8 p.m. Thursday in the area of Southwest 10th Street and 129th Place.

According to authorities, the victim was walking home when a man pulled up alongside her in a white van and told her, "Get in the van. I'll take you home."

Police said the girl started to run away as the man tried to grab his arm.

A white van, similar to the one pictured, was driven by a man Aug. 22 during an attempted abduction in Miami-Dade County, authorities said.

He then drove away in a southbound direction, authorities said.

Police said the white van had a picture of pink lollipops with white swirls on its side. 

Parents like Istkdandart Acevedo, who lives in the area, said the incident has made them reinforce safety precautions to their children.

"Don't talk to strangers. Just keep it moving, keep walking. You know, my kids don't even go out here as much. We usually just take them out," Acevedo told Local 10 News reporter Neki Mohan.

"It's very concerning. Very, very concerning," Vanessa Vargas, a mother of three, also told Mohan. 

Vargas said her older children have walked to and from school for years and have always felt safe before.

"They grew up here. We've lived here over 10 years, and they walk home from school, from W.R. Thomas (Middle School). So for us to know now that there's a predator out there who can put their life at risk, that's very, very scary," Vargas said. 

Anyone with information about the man's identity is asked to call Detective D. Bruno or any detective of the Miami-Dade Police Department Special Victims Bureau/Missing Persons Squad at 305-715-3300.

Anonymous tips can be made by calling Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

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