Police investigate attempted abductions - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Police investigate attempted abductions in restaurant parking lot

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Captain Tom Roby Captain Tom Roby
The incident happened in the Cracker Barrel parking lot. The incident happened in the Cracker Barrel parking lot.
Patience Martin Patience Martin

BARDSTOWN, KY (WAVE) – The hunt is on for a man police say tried to abduct a woman and lure another one in broad daylight.

It happened in the Cracker Barrel parking lot. Police say there were two incidents in just as many days. Captain Tom Roby of Bardstown Police says the same suspect in a white van was described both times.

"She feared greatly for her life," said Roby.

As a Cracker Barrel waitress headed to her car Saturday afternoon, police say she couldn't help but notice an older extended style van parked next to her. She told police she saw a man, possibly 50 to 60 years old, with a scruffy beard, and salt and pepper hair, leaning into the van while the side door was open.

"As she walked past him, the man then grabbed her from behind, grabbed her arms and told her you're going with me and tried to force her in the van, she resisted, tried to struggle against him and screamed out," said Roby.

Doing what officers believe is the best thing to do in this situation, the victim was able to get the attention of man in the parking lot. Police say he yelled out, which got the would be kidnapper to let her go.

Before he took off, the victim says she noticed something disturbing inside the van. "She noticed from behind the driver seat what looked steal mesh, like a cage type material," said Roby.

This victim had no idea that day before, another Cracker Barrel waitress was also stopped by a man in a white van. Police believe it is the same guy.

She was walking in the parking lot when officers say he pulled up beside her and asked if she needed a ride. Police say it wasn't until she pretended to see her husband that he backed off.

"She just brushed the incident off, thought it was an overzealous flirt and just didn't really give it a lot of merit," said Roby.

News of both of these incidents have restaurant patrons like Patience Martin on edge. "It's just unreal to know that this is happening where I'm from," said Martin.

The victim believes the first three letters of the van's license plate were JHL, but she's not sure if it was a Kentucky plate. If you have any information that could help, you are asked to give Bardstown Police a call at 502-348-6811.

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