SAIPAN – Parents interviewed by this reporter have expressed concern for their children’s safety following two attempted kidnapping incidents in Dandan as reported by the Department of Public Safety.
A Dandan resident said parents no longer allow their children to walk in the village on their own.
Another parent asked Variety: “What happened to the neighborhood watch?”
In a statement on Wednesday, DPS spokesman Dre Pangelinan said the first incident occurred at the bus stop near Dandan Middle School on Jan. 10, 2020.
A witness told police that “an unusual incident ... occurred earlier in the day as they were waiting at their bus stop. An unknown, gray…sedan (no make or model reported), pulled up near the bus stop, and parked along the shoulder of the road. The suspect in the vehicle rolled the passenger-side window down slightly and asked a female juvenile to follow him to Garapan and Dandan.”
The suspect is described as having dark hair, and speaking good English. The vehicle is described as a gray sedan, having dark tint, with scratches on its side.
On Sunday, Jan. 12, around 5:54 p.m., Pangelinan said police received a 911 call reporting an attempted kidnapping incident at a private residence in Dandan.
Police were dispatched to meet with the caller who is the victim’s mother.
“The victim, a female juvenile, told police that she was washing her hands at an outdoor spigot when an unfamiliar, silver ... sedan pulled into her property. The suspect in the vehicle [told] the female juvenile to walk towards him. The male suspect continuously called the juvenile by saying, ‘Come here, I’m here to drop something for your mom.’ As soon as the driver attempted to step out of the vehicle, the victim ran inside the home and told an older cousin who called on the victim’s mother. The mother immediately called for police assistance.”
However, “no description [was] given by the victim,” Pangelinan said.
DPS is looking into a possible link between the two separate cases, he added.
“DPS also reminds the public and parents to be aware of these incidents, and to speak with your children about the dangers of talking to strangers asking unusual questions, especially when there are no adults or chaperones around.”
These cases remain ongoing, DPS is asking anyone in the community who knows a victim of a similar incident to call 911 to report it. If you would like to remain anonymous, you may call the CNMI Crime Stoppers hotline at 234-7272.