DETECTIVES are hunting two predators who tried to snatch a girl on her way to school at Bellingen.
Anxious mums, dads and schools are now on high alert.
The chilling encounter happened at 8.25am on Wednesday when an 11-year-old St Marys Primary student was walking east in Bowra Street.
An oncoming car with two males inside passed her, then did a U-turn and stopped alongside the girl.
Police said one of the men asked her to get in their car. The brave girl refused and strode to school in nearby Park Street.
She told schoolmates and later her shocked parents, who raised the alarm with police.
The car, described as an early model pale blue station wagon in good condition, possibly an EH Holden, was last seen driving east in Bowra Street.
Both men are described as aged between 50 and 60.
One of the men is bald with grey hair around the sides and back and was wearing a plain-coloured top.
The other was also bald, with pale eyes, a medium build and was wearing a T-shirt which was possibly striped. Police told Coffs Coast school principals about the abduction attempt at a pre-scheduled forum in Coffs Harbour yesterday.
“While thankfully nothing happened to her, obviously we all know what the potential is,” Coffs/Clarence crime manager, Detective Inspector Cameron Lindsay, said.
“Parents are urged to discuss with their children where they should go if something happens, including a police station, shop, service station or school.
“They should reinforce to children that under no circumstances should they get into a car with a person they do not know.”
St Marys Primary School principal, Jenny Triglone, told The Advocate yesterday: “As a school community, we have alerted our staff, students and their parents to the stranger danger issue.”
Police were also yesterday questioning a witness to the incident along with local residents in their bid to catch the men before they have a chance to strike again.
• If you can help with the investigation, you are urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Coffs Harbour detectives on 6652 0299.