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Crime of the Week: Man tries to lure child away in December

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 3:54 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Crime of the Week is a new segment coming to KAUZ News Channel 6. Each week, we’re going to take an in-depth look at unsolved crimes that law enforcement needs help with.

In December of 2021, the Wichita Falls Police Department opened an investigation after a man allegedly tried to lure a 13-year-old girl away from her mother while at Ross.

News Channel 6 Photojournalist Josh Rowe got more on the story for this segment of Crime of the Week:

“This mother was there with her 13-year-old daughter shopping and found out from her daughter that there was a man inside the store that attempted to lure her to another section of the store, showed her some tattoos and stuff like that,” said Sgt. Charlie Eipper, Wichita Falls Police Department PIO.

The mother called police once she found out, but the suspect had left the store by the time officers arrived.

“The fact that he was trying to lure her to another section of the store away from where they were with no reason, just trying to get her over there, so that would be concerning because how close is that spot to the exit door, has he found some way of maybe pulling her outside and taking her away, so that would be concerning for any mom or dad,” said Eipper.

Wichita Falls police said the suspect is described as a 30-year-old man wearing a green Rick and Morty shirt. He is reportedly medium build, with a buzzed head, tattoos on his neck, a Mickey Mouse tattoo on his right forearm and a scar on his right eyebrow.

Police said the mother described the suspect’s vehicle as a blacked-out Dodge Challenger with silver or chrome wheels.

“I think that anytime we have children that are speaking to strangers, we need to investigate,” said Eipper. “It could be as innocent as maybe a teacher you don’t know or somebody from school you don’t know, but there’s nothing wrong with going and asking who they are and finding out what’s going on just to make sure your child is safe.”

Eipper said law enforcement has received tips and names on the suspect, but the investigation is still ongoing.

“At 13, you know, that’s middle school age, but still they are still children and still susceptible and vulnerable, really don’t know the way the world is and how evil people are out there, some of the plans that people can make to hurt them, so we still need to keep an eye on them and also share that information with them as they get to that point where they can understand and then be careful on their own,” said Eipper.

You can report any tips to Wichita Falls Crime Stoppers at (940) 322-9888. Long-distance callers should dial 1-800-322-9888. You can also use the P3 Tips app on your mobile device or visit their website here. You can also call the WFPD non-emergency number at (940) 720-5000.

You never have to leave your name, and you could earn a cash reward if your tip leads to an arrest and board approval.

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