UPDATED: Man tries to kidnap teenage girl near Azusa

AZUSA — A man in a pickup truck tried to kidnap a 14-year-old girl Thursday from a residential neighborhood in an unincorporated county area near Azusa in the second such incident in recent weeks, officials said.
The girl was walking in the area of Citrus Edge Street and Orangecrest Avenue about 1:10 p.m. when she was approached by the would-be kidnapper in a white pickup truck, possibly a Nissan, with a black or dark-colored tool box mounted in the bed, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Kirk Smith said.
The truck pulled up alongside the girl as the driver grabbed her through an open window and tried to pull her in, the sergeant said.
She managed to struggle free and run to a neighboring home to call for help, Smith said. The truck was last seen by witnesses nearby on Armstead Street, he added.
Officials described the attacker as a Latino man between 20 and 30 years old, with dark hair and wearing dark clothing.
A strikingly similar incident was reported in the same area in late July, Smith said, and investigators were looking into the possibility the same man was responsible for both crimes.
A 16-year-old girl was walking in the area of Fenimore Avenue and Orkney Street when she was approached by a man of similar description who was also in a white pickup truck, authorities said.
As in Thursday’s incident, the driver pulled alongside the young victim before grabbing onto her from inside the truck, Smith said. The frightened teen managed to punch the man in the face and flee.
As always, sheriff’s officials reminded people to avoid walking alone whenever possible and be aware of their surroundings.
Anyone with information on either kidnapping attempt was asked to call the sheriff’s San Dimas Station at 909-450-2700.
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