A quick-thinking Melbourne mum with a mobile phone has saved her young daughter when a man tried to abduct her as she rode her bike to school.

The 9-year-old girl was riding her bike to school in Mernda, on the outer north-eastern fringes of Melbourne, when the middle-aged man tried to lure her away.

Police say the mum became worried when her daughter didn’t call to say she’d reached school. So she rang her child’s phone to hear a man trying to lure her into a park. And the frantic mum gave daughter one very important bit of advice – RUN!

Phone saves child from man

Detective Acting Sergeant Graeme Wassell today told 3AW Radio the child had a phone that she used to call her mum to let her know she had reached school safely. The mother became worried when her child didn’t check in by her usual time.

“The mum called the young girl and the young girl told her mum what was happening. So her mum told her to quickly run away,” says Det Sgt Wassell.

“You can’t imagine what’s going on in a girl of that age’s mind when an unknown man is leading her into quite a big park which leads into bushland.

“She’s getting better, as you can imagine she’s extremely scared, as are the parents.”

Police have today released parts of an anonymous  letter they suspect came from the man, explaining his actions. They are hoping someone might recognise the handwriting.

“It is still quite a scary scenario,” Det Sgt Wassell says. “He’s trying to say that he was teaching people a lesson, no harm intended.”

child abduction Mernda
Parts of the letter that may have been sent by the man. Police want to hear from anyone who recognises the handwriting.

Girl frightened but not hurt

Police say the girl wasn’t physically hurt in the encounter, which happened as she rode her bike to school on Skeeter Dve, Mernda, around 8.30am on November 14.

“The man grabbed hold of the handlebars of the girl’s bike before convincing her to walk alongside him,” a police statement says.

“The girl managed to run away from the man, who then dropped the bike and fled the scene on foot.”

Police have also released video footage of a man they wish to speak to about the incident. He is described as around 50 years old and wearing a blue jacket and a white and green baseball cap.

Anyone with information about the letter or who recognises the man in the video should call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

Cases like this can certainly worry us parents. Here’s what we need to teach our children to keep them safe from child abductors.

Author

Mum Central Editor Nikki is a former news journalist who used to spend her days chasing shady types around town ... until she had kids and went all soft on the inside. She now spends her days cajoling her kids to pick up their damn Lego and eat more fruit.

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