Police are still searching for the person who they say tried to kidnap a woman seen being dragged away on foot Sunday night in Burlington, Massachusetts.
Police credited a good Samaritan for following the mantra, “If you see something, say something." When she witnessed the attempted kidnapping in the area of Middlesex Turnpike and Great Meadow Road just before 8:30 p.m. Sunday while driving home from work, she pulled over and called 911, officials said.
The suspect fled on foot, after appearing to have been startled by the driver's parked car when she was on the phone with the dispatcher. The victim was able to get away from the kidnapper, and police located her shortly after the call.
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Burlington police said they believe the 911 caller spooked the suspect, who then ran off down Great Meadow Road, jumping the fence into the DPW work yard. That’s the last video evidence police say they have of the suspect.
People who live, work and visit the area, which is not far from the Burlington mall, were stunned by the incident.
“It’s heart-wrenching to see when people would take advantage of other people like that," Richard Maliawco of Stoneham said.
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“That’s really scary," Hazel Davis of Arlington said. "I come here for Twist and I go to Pure Barre around the corner, and it always feels really safe, so I guess it’s a good reminder to be cautious.”
Investigators brought in a K-9 unit from the Essex County Sheriff's Department, a drone and infrared camera, but were unable to track him down Sunday night. Bedford police assisted. Burlington police are asking that anyone familiar with the incident, or who may recognize the suspect in the surveillance photos, to call Burlington Police at 781-272-1212.
“This is a wakeup call for all of us. We need the public to be vigilant. Everybody thinks this type of thing doesn’t happen in Burlington, and usually it doesn’t, right? But we all need to be mindful that this, in fact, can happen anywhere," Burlington Police Chief Thomas Browne said.
"We need people to pay attention, use the buddy system, be aware of your surroundings, and for the rest of the public, please take a look at our website, take a look at the twitter and the Facebook feeds, look at that video," Browne said. "If you think you know that person, please get in touch with our detectives.”
The suspect is described as a white male in his early 20s, was last seen wearing a black hat, a black hooded sweatshirt, khaki pants, and black and white sneakers.
The investigation and search is ongoing. Burlington police had said that Chief Thomas Browne would give an update on the case Monday afternoon, but the briefing was canceled.