Cromwell: Police welcome van sighting news

Sightings of a van used by the alleged offenders in an attempted abduction at Cromwell last week are helping police ''build up a picture'' of the crime.

Cromwell police head Sergeant Simon Paget said police were relying on information from the public and had received several calls about the van. Central Otago CIB staff are working on the investigation, he said. The 12-year-old girl fought back and managed to break free after a man allegedly grabbed her off her bike in Blyth St on Friday afternoon, while she was cycling home.

A van containing two men had followed her before one of them attempted to abduct her, Sgt Paget said. The van then drove off.

''How brave she was, to break free and get herself back home to safety,'' he said.

''It was broad daylight when it happened, so hopefully someone will come forward who might have witnessed the incident."

As soon as it was reported, police searched for the van around the town, and covered exit and entry routes but were unable to locate the vehicle. However, they had received reports of several sightings of a van with two occupants, which matched the girl's description.

''All this helps us build up a picture, so we'd welcome any more information."

Sgt Paget reminded the public to report any suspicious activity to police immediately by phoning 111.

• Police have concluded their investigation into a 7-year-old Alexandra boy being offered a ride home by a stranger on Friday afternoon and have not made any arrests, Detective Sergeant Derek Shaw said yesterday.

''We are satisfied the boy was not in any danger,'' he said.