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Two girls who were walking to school on Detroit’s east side Wednesday morning were the victims of attempted kidnappings in separate incidents about a half-hour and three miles apart, police said.

While the vehicles used in the attempted abductions were different, the descriptions of the men are similar, and investigators were working Wednesday to determine if the cases are connected, Detroit Police Cmdr. Charles Mahone said.

In the first incident, which happened about 8 am, a 16-year-old girl was walking on Shakespeare near Eight Mile when a black four-door car with tinted windows screeched to a stop. A man jumped out, grabbed the girl by the arm, and tried to force her into the vehicle, Mahone said.

"The girl fought him off," Mahone said. "Thankfully, she kept up that struggle, and that kept the man from pulling her into the car."

The attack happened near a busy intersection, Mahone said, and attracted the attention of a nearby motorist.

"We had a good citizen who saw what was going on and gave aid," he said. The would-be kidnapper got back into his car and sped away, Mahone said.

The second incident occurred about a half-hour later and about three miles south, near Morang and Nottingham, when a man in a yellow car approached an 11-year-old and ordered her into the vehicle.

The girl ran away and the man did not chase her, Mahone said.

The men in both incidents were described as 6'2, 200 pounds and around 40, with a dark complexion and goatee. He wore black pants, a black hat and brown shoes.

"In both cases, this was an older black male preying on young girls," Mahone said. "It's very scary. It's the one thing parents are concerned about: the safety of their children. This type of crime can happen in any community at any time."

Investigators were searching around the two crime scenes to see if there are surveillance videos that captured the incidents, Mahone said.

Mahone said Detroit Public Schools Community District officials have been made aware of the incidents. He added there hasn't been a rash of attempted kidnappings this year. 

"The Safe Routes to School program has been successful," he said, referring to a program that involves the school district, police and volunteers who patrol their neighborhoods to ensure kids get to school safety. 

Anyone with information about the abduction attempts is asked to call the Detroit Police Sex Crimes Unit at (313) 596-1950.

ghunter@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2134

Twitter: @GeorgeHunter_DN

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