Johannesburg -

West Rand residents have been sending out warning messages on social media to alert each other of a possible kidnapper in their midst.

An incident last Thursday sparked numerous allegations about a woman who might be preying on young children.

According to online posts by concerned residents, the woman is believed to have been spotted at two schools and two restaurants on the West Rand.

Thursday’s incident involved Debbie Fendick, who had decided to fetch her young daughter early from school.

“There was a woman who approached me in the car park and started talking to me,” she said.

Fendick had her toddler on her arm while her five-year-old was walking next to her as she hurried towards her car.

“She said to me ‘your children are so beautiful’ and asked the age of my daughter, which made me very concerned,” she said.

As Fendick tried to brush off the woman, her young daughter ran off to the other side of her car and the woman followed.

The security guard on duty then asked the woman what she was doing and she ran out of the parking lot and into a car parked in the street.

“All the mothers do the same thing. You hold one child and put them in the car while the other one waits by your side. You don’t expect something like that to happen,” said Fendick.

Shortly after the incident, Fendick received a call from the police. She said other people also started claiming they had seen the woman at restaurants and other places on the West Rand.

The woman is believed to be in her sixties, with red hair, and is driven around in a 4x4 by an alleged accomplice.

There was also a reported incident during which the woman is said to have approached a child minder at a restaurant and asked her to pass a child over the wall for R2 000.

Honeydew police station spokeswoman Warrant Officer Karen Jacobs said the police were following up on the allegations, but no cases had been opened.

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The Star