Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Hero Gumbu confirmed an apparent attempted kidnapping took place on Thursday at the Checkers store in Moreleta Village, east of Pretoria.
“The mother was walking with her child, who was in a pram, in the store when she looked away for a brief moment. When she turned around, she saw a man holding her baby,” said Gumbu.
“The woman then demanded the man return her baby. He said to her she was overreacting and he was only making a joke.” he added.
Garsfontein police are investigating the incident, Rekord North reported.
In a separate incident on Thursday, a woman reported another apparent attempted kidnapping at the NG Moreleta Park church. According to the woman, who wished to stay anonymous, she and her two-year-old daughter had just walked out of the church when she turned around for a brief moment.
“When I looked back I saw a man holding my daughter’s hand, saying: ‘Come with me, come with me quick’,” said the woman.
“I then confronted the man and told him she is not going anywhere with him. He did not even look at me and just walked away.”
These two attempts follow another apparent attempted kidnapping of three-year-old Abbigail Combrinck outside a Checkers in Raslouw, Centurion last Saturday.
Gumbu urged parents at shopping centres to be vigilant at all times.
“Parents should never take their eyes off their children, not even for a brief moment,” said Gumbu.
“They should keep their children in sight at all times. This includes rather carrying them than pushing them in prams where they are out of view. Also, do not trust your children to the care of strangers,” he added.
– Caxton News Service