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By Mike Hazlip–
A report alleging an attempted kidnapping of a student near Woodside Elementary on Monday quickly generated over 190 comments on social media and was investigated by police this week.
A woman who said she was the victim’s mother reported a man dressed in black attempted to grab her 12-year-old son while he was walking to the school to pick up supplies.
Lieut. Michael Wells of the Citrus Heights Police Department told The Sentinel in an email Tuesday that officers conducted a thorough investigation but were unable to confirm the incident had occurred.
“After reviewing surveillance in the area and additional information the report was deemed unfounded and the case was closed,” Wells said.
In an email to The Sentinel Tuesday, Trent Allen, senior director of community relations for the San Juan Unified School District, confirmed a Woodside student did report suspicious activity when visiting the office on Monday. Allen said the student and parent were told to contact Citrus Heights police.
The student’s mother told The Sentinel she wasn’t happy with how police handled the investigation and said officers were wrong to disregard her son’s account of what happened. She said her son came home shaking and now carries a baseball bat for protection.
Wells called social media a “valuable tool” to raise awareness in the community, but stressed the need for accuracy and reporting any suspicious activity to police.
“Shared good information is valuable and healthy to a neighborhood but shared rumors or misinformation can cause unnecessary fear or concern in a community,” Wells said.
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