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Published: Sunday, 10/31/2004

Man who posed as guard kidnaps, rapes pair of girls

Toledo police sought the community's help last night to catch the man who abducted two 12-year-old girls from a West Toledo shopping center before sexually assaulting each of them during a 3 1/2-hour ordeal.

Police Chief Mike Navarre said the man grabbed the girls about 1:45 p.m. at the Miracle Mile shopping center after telling them he was a security guard. He was wearing an FBI ball cap.

More than three hours after they were taken, the girls - each of whom was placed in the trunk during the ordeal - were dropped off near the Larchmont Garden Apartments. They were treated at Toledo Hospital and were with their families last night.

"This is a very dangerous person. A man commits this type of crime, there's no telling what he could do," Chief Navarre said late last night at a quickly arranged press conference at the department's northwest district station on West Sylvania Avenue.

Police are looking for a white man in his 40s with blond hair and blue eyes, somewhat unshaven. He was wearing a dark gray tank top, navy swim trunks, and Spalding tennis shoes. At the time he let the girls go, he had switched to a black knit cap.

The Oldsmobile had Georgia license plates with the number 428BTF.

"This is someone who needs to be taken off the street quickly so that no other citizen is put in harm's way," Mayor Jack Ford said.

Chief Navarre said the suspect first restrained the girls, who are best friends, in the shopping center parking lot, located at the southwest corner of Jackman and Laskey roads. He lured them into the car by telling them they had to go with him.

He put one girl in the trunk of his four-door, white Oldsmobile, the other in the front seat.

After leaving the shopping center, he drove to a vacant

field and sexually assaulted one of them. He then forced them to trade places - again putting one of the girls in the trunk before driving around the area.

The chief said he then sexually assaulted the other girl who was in the car with him.

"This is a very serious crime, a very heinous crime," the chief said.

The girls' parents had called police about 2 p.m. to say they were missing. They were known as responsible, prompt girls who had a cell phone with them.

"This has got to be a parent's worst nightmare," Chief Navarre said.

"These girls were being reported missing by their parents at the same time this was occurring."

Police said their investigation will be aided by the information the girls were able to provide. In addition to their detailed description of their assailant, they remembered some of the streets they drove by, allowing police to recreate their path.

"These girls were very good witnesses," the chief said. "They've been through a very difficult ordeal. There's going to have to be some emotional healing there."

At one point, one of the girls in the car saw a man on a sidewalk in the 1900 block of West Sylvania and mouthed the words, "Help me." That man then did call police.



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