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12 May 2022, 10:42 | Updated: 12 May 2022, 11:32
By Megan Hinton
Police are searching for two men who attempted to abduct a toddler but fled after the family dog attacked the kidnappers.
A woman and her two-year-old daughter were approached by two men who showed an interest in her dog in Ringwood, Hampshire, just before 11am on Wednesday.
A police spokesperson said: "The woman reported that one of the men then picked up her daughter and ran with her towards a nearby housing estate. The child was let go after the dog bit the man on his leg.
"The young girl, and her mother, are being supported by specialist officers who are at this early stage trying to ascertain the exact circumstances of what happened and they are currently dealing with it as an attempted kidnapping."
The two men were described as being white, in their late 30s, both approximately 5ft 7ins, wearing caps – with one wearing light blue jeans and the other dark jeans.
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Detective Inspector Janine Bradley, said: "We fully appreciate that this incident will have a significant impact on the community, and we want to reassure the public that we are taking this report very seriously.
"Our officers are carrying out extensive enquiries in the local area – including house-to-house visits, scoping CCTV and there will be high-visibility patrols in the area to reassure the community.
"If you see our officers and have information pertaining to this incident, then please do speak with them.
"This occurred in a residential area, during broad daylight, and we would implore anyone who may have seen or heard what happened to come forward."
Hampshire Police are urging witness to come forward and be mindful of anyone who has suffered a new dog bite to their leg.
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A spokesperson added: "Likewise, we would like to ask local residents to review any CCTV or doorbell camera footage that they may have which may have captured the moments leading up to, during or after the incident, to make contact with us."
Anyone with information is asked to please call 101 quoting 44220185316 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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