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Parents Urge Caution After Terrifying 'Snatch Attempt'

Monday February 16 2015


South Yorkshire Police South Yorkshire Police


POLICE have stepped up patrols after the parents of a two-year-old reported a group of strangers tried to snatch their son.

Christine and Shaun Lawton are now urging parents to keep their children close following the incident on the underpass at Alhambra roundabout on Monday afternoon.

Christine, 26, had picked son Ethan up from nursery on Doncaster Road and was walking on the underpass when they were approached by three men, a woman and a boy.

Christine believes the group, who she thinks were Latvian, surrounded Ethan, who was walking a few feet ahead of her, with the intention of trying to take him from her.

"It was quite unnerving," said Christine. "I tried to step round them and they stepped in my way. They were obstructing me.

"I could see Ethan in the middle of them all and he turned and saw me and started to cry. I was so scared they were going to take him.

"So I shouted 'I'm calling the police' and a woman walking towards us saw what was happening and shouted the same thing.

"That seemed to do it and they all just looked at each other and walked off.

"I grabbed Ethan and got out of the underpass towards Morrisons and as soon as I was in the open where people could see me I rang my husband and he came straight down.

"I have never felt fear like that in my life before. You hear about things like this but you never think it's going to happen to you."

The Safer Neighbourhood Team have increased patrols in the area and would urge anyone to report suspicious behaviour on 101.