ROSSMOOR -- Police are searching for an older man who attempted to abduct four kids in three separate incidents in the past two weeks at the same elementary school.

The most recent incidents took place about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday at Lee Elementary School in the 11400 block of Foster Road.

While standing outside the school's fence, the man - described as white, in his mid-to-late 50s, with short hair - approached two kids. He told a 7-year-old girl he had candy for her and instructed her to get in his van that was parked in the street. The van is silver or gray with a missing rear window, said Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the Orange county Sheriff's Department.

About 10 minutes later, the man told an 8-year-old boy he would kidnap him after school, Amormino said.

Both students ran to the school and asked for help, he said.

Los Alamitos Unified School District Superintendent Sherry Kropp emailed parents Wednesday afternoon about the incident. Out of safety for students, all of the district's K-8 students were released only to a parent, guardian or someone on the students' emergency cards, Kropp said.

The first incident happened 11:30 a.m. March 24. A suspect with the same description approached two girls at the elementary school's playground.


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"The driver got out of the vehicle, walked to the rear and told the girls to 'come here' while motioning his arms towards him," Amormino said. "The girls ran off and hid in nearby bushes. "

The man then got back in the vehicle, made a U-turn and drove off. Witnesses said a boy, age 16 to 18, with blond hair was riding in the vehicle.

Anyone with information on these incidents should call sheriff's investigator D. Purser, 714-647-7063.

phillip.zonkel@presstelegram.com, 562-714-2098