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Children say a man in a van tried to kidnap them; North Myrtle Beach police investigating

Video from a business in North Myrtle Beach shows a black van, circled in red, driving slowly by on Saturday morning. (NMBPD)

Police in North Myrtle Beach are investigating after two children say a man in a van tried to kidnap them on Saturday morning.

According to a police report, officers were called to the Comfort Inn at 3801 Highway 17 at around 8:30 a.m. on March 31 and met with two children who were "both visibly shaken over the incident."

One of the two children involved, an 11-year-old girl from Germany, told police a man in a van tried to grab her and pull her into a van. She said the man grabbed her arm, but she broke free and ran to the hotel.

The other child involved, a 12-year-old boy also from Germany, told police he and the girl had been separated and he was afraid that the man in the van had taken her.

According to the report, the two were walking from their vacation home on Poinsette Street to the Turtle Mart to get breakfast when a black van approached and slowed when it neared them.

They reportedly hid behind a home because they "got a strange feeling about it" and came back out when they didn't see the van on the road.

But the van re-approached and both of them "split in panic," the report stated.

The girl said she knew to run to a populated location, which was the hotel, and "as she was running the van pulled along side her and the male reached out and grabbed her arm," the report stated.

The girl told police she "broke free and ran immediately into the lobby of the hotel," according to the report.

Surveillance video released on Tuesday shows the girl running to the hotel and talking with an adult before going into the hotel with him, presumably to call police, who arrive a few minutes later.

The boy told police he assumed the girl had run to the Turtle Mart and he ran there, but couldn't find her.

An officer reviewed surveillance footage of the parking lot and street near the hotel and "a black van can be seen on video driving on Poinsette Street and [redacted] can be seen running in the background," the report stated. The report did not specify if one or both children were seen on the video.

The van was described as a black transport-style Nissan van with a large chrome grill and black tinted windows. The boy told officers he thought the van might have had North Carolina plates, but said he was not 100 percent sure.

Surveillance videos released on Tuesday shows a black van driving slowly past a business near Poinsette Street.

Neither child could give a specific description of the man inside the van, according to the report.


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