A MAN has been charged with allegedly abducting a little girl from a popular North Lakes shopping centre and indecently assaulting her in nearby bushland.
A post about the alleged kidnapping was shared across social media over the weekend, with a mother who claimed to have witnessed the incident warning parents and carers to keep a close eye on their children.
It’s understood the 7-year-old girl was shopping with her mum at a retail store on Saturday December 8, when she was approached by a 26-year-old Morayfield man.
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“It is further alleged the girl and the man left the shopping centre together and returned over an hour later,” Queensland police said in a statement.
Authorities were contacted and a frantic search and investigation involving Detectives from Pine Rivers Child Protection Investigation Unit and detectives from State Crime Command Child Abuse and Sexual Crime Group commenced.
The young girl’s alleged attacker was tracked down and taken into custody overnight.
He’s since been charged with one count each of deprivation of liberty, taking a child for immoral purposes and indecent treatment of a child under 12 years.
The man is expected to appear in the Pine Rivers Magistrate Court this morning.
Detective Superintendent Fleming said he was proud of the dedication and hard work of police in apprehending the man.
“My thanks also extend to Westfield North Lakes staff for their cooperation and support to police in this investigation,” he said.
“Crimes in circumstances such as this are not common, but it is a timely reminder that a very small number of people could take advantage of an opportunity to harm a child.
“Children should be free to enjoy themselves, but it is important that we maintain appropriate vigilance of them and our surrounds.”