The Metropolitan Police has launched an appeal for two suspects they wish to speak to in connection to an attempted abduction of an 11-year-old schoolgirl that was seemingly thwarted by a woman who intervened.
Authorities released CCTV images on Wednesday of the two males involved in the incident, which occurred back on June 24 outside a convenience store in the southeast London borough of Bromley.
Security footage obtained by the Daily Mail newspaper showed the young girl leaving the store when she was approached by a male waiting outside. The suspected abductor could be seen following the girl as she walked away, attempting to engage in a conversation with her.
After a brief exchange, the suspect gestured for her to walk with him in the opposite direction that she was originally heading; she began to follow him before they were interrupted by a female bystander who had observed the exchange and sensed something was wrong.
“I heard her say to him that she was going to call the police and she asked the girl to come with her,” the owner of the store who had served the schoolgirl moments before told the U.K. newspaper.
Following the altercation, the suspect put his thumb up before walking away hurriedly.
The local police have now issued an appeal for two suspects, releasing CCTV stills of the males in question. It is not known how the second individual was involved.
“Detectives investigating an attempted abduction have released images of two men they want to identify and speak with,” a police spokesperson said.
“At 11:45 a.m. on Saturday, June 24, an 11-year-old girl was approached by a man on High Street, West Wickham who tried to convince her to leave with him.
“A member of the public, seeing the child looked nervous, intervened and took her into a shop.
“Officers are keen to hear from anyone who can name the men in the images,” they added.