PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Santa Monica detectives are asking for the public’s help in locating a man wanted in connection with the attempted kidnapping of a 17-year-old girl.

Police said the teen was walking eastbound on the 2900 block of Pico Boulevard Sunday around 8:42 a.m. when she was suddenly grabbed by a man standing next to a blue-green, mid-90s minivan — possibly a Toyota Previa — with tinted rear windows.

The minivan’s passenger-side door was open and the suspect allegedly tried to force the victim inside, said SMPD Sgt. Richard Lewis.

A struggle ensued and the girl managed to free herself and ran into a nearby restaurant for safety. The suspect got into the van and left, driving southbound on 30th Street at a high rate of speed, Lewis said.

The victim suffered minor injuries and was treated at a local hospital and then released.

The suspect was described as a male Latino in his mid to late 30s, 5-foot, 9-inches tall, with a stocky build, brown hair and a “bushy” handlebar-type mustache/goatee. He was wearing a black T-shirt, dark blue jeans and black shoes, Lewis said.

Two characters on the rear license plate of the minivan were identified as “Z” and “6.”

Police said if anyone has information they should contact Detective Chad Goodwin at (310) 458-8942, Sgt. Ira Rutan at (310) 458-8959 or the watch commander at (310) 458-8495. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call the WeTip hotline at (800) 78-CRIME (27463).

Tipsters can also contact Crime Stoppers by either calling (800) 222-TIPS, texting from their mobile phone, or by visiting www.lacrimestoppers.org. Callers may remain anonymous and may be qualified to receive a $1,000 reward from Crime Stoppers.

kevinh@smdp.com

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