Police Seek Help from Public After Attempted Abduction Sunday Night Near West Helen Rd and Elm St, Palatine

Palatine police released a sketch of a man believed to have attempted to abduct two girls Sunday night in the 500 block of West Helen Road — a quiet neighborhood of single family homes with large yards.

According to Palatine police, they received a report that just after 9 p.m. Sunday, August 17, 2014, a man got out of a minivan and told one of the girls to come over to him. The offender then reached out and attempted to grab her, and was able to get a hand on the girl. The girl managed to get away while the second girl ran to a nearby house to call police. The man then drove west on Helen Road.

The teenagers described the offender as being a male in his 30s with a dark complexion, about 6 feet tall, with a heavy set build, thinning hair, and dark facial stubble. He is also described as wearing a white shirt and tan shorts. Neither girl was injured during the incident.

His vehicle was described as an older model minivan, either dark-colored or silver.

Cmdr. Michael Seebacher said finding the man is a very high priority case for the department and that input from the public may provide the break they need.

“This is a case where we are trying to put out as much information as possible so we can hopefully find someone out there who knows more and can help us,” Seebacher said.

Detectives are collaborating with other suburban police departments to see if there are cases that might show similarities that involve the same suspect.

Seebacher urges that anyone who sees a minivan matching that description suspiciously cruising around their neighborhood should call 9-1-1 and anyone with other information about the attempted abduction is urged to call Palatine police at (847) 359-9000.


Cardinal Note: As of June 5, 2013 — up to and including the date of this article — police incidents related to the above police agency are not reported in real time or within a prompt time period. Police protecting their realm of investigation and police activity, have chosen to use secret military-grade encrypted radios to withhold their police communications, which were previously open to the public and news media via monitoring of public safety scanning radios — with no known negative results locally.

The delayed knowledge or entirely blacked out knowledge resulting from encrypted police communications may protect certain police operations and investigations, but it also puts the public at risk in situations such as when armed and dangerous offenders are at large and when other similar situations occur, such as when desperate offenders of property crimes are eluding police. In other cases, the delayed or blacked out information inhibits or prohibits the possibility of the public providing early witness accounts before a criminal trail goes cold. Citizens are much more likely to recognize or recall suspicious or criminal activity if they are aware of the criminal incident within minutes or hours of its occurrence. The most serious incident involving dire results would be a trail that is allowed to go cold because of delayed notification of the public in the case of child abduction.

The lack of real time information from public police dispatch also weakens an effective neighborhood watch program mostly working to prevent property loss, but also working to prevent possible violent crimes.

Lack of real time information from police dispatch also delays public awareness or eliminates public awareness of general hazards and traffic or other situations in every day living in an otherwise economically thriving community.

Police have alternate ways to transmit tactical, operational or investigative information, while still keeping their main public dispatch channels open for the best balance of public safety and police safety.

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