Driver tries to snatch girl, 13

A MAN in a car tried to snatch a Mackay girl as she walked to school, authorities confirmed yesterday.

The girl, 13, was walking from a bus stop when a man in a red car pulled up behind her and repeatedly told her to get in.

The Carlisle Christian College student said "no" and bolted. The man did not pursue her further.

Warnings about the attempted abduction coincided with a Mackay visit by Bruce and Denise Morcombe yesterday to promote Child Protection Week.

It is the third time within four months a schoolgirl has been targeted by an unknown person in a red car.

The latest incident occurred about 7.50am last Friday on the Mackay-Bucasia Rd, opposite the Holy Spirit College entrance.

Police said the man pulled up behind the 13-year-old as she walked away from the bus stop and instructed her to get in the car several times.

Carlisle Christian College principal Dr David McClintoch said the Year 8 student had hopped off at the bus stop at Holy Spirit College, where she usually changed buses.

"Instead of waiting for her bus, she just began to walk along the road and the small red car pulled over and told her to get in. She declined and fortunately the car then left her," Dr McClintoch said.

The girl was able to get a fairly good description of the man, from which police were working on a composite image.

"They've done an ID picture from it (her description), which was verified by her at the school (on Tuesday)," Dr McClintoch said.

In a similar incident, a young girl was approached by a man in a red four-wheel drive near the Norris Rd touch football fields in North Mackay on Friday, August 12. She had been walking home.

Another attempt was made in Eimeo on Monday, May 9 when a man, aged 20 to 30, attempted to lure a young girl into his red car just before 8am.

Police said offences of this nature were always concerning.

Dr McClintoch said the girl was coping well in light of the incident. "I know she was quite stressed and it had worried her over the weekend," he said.

It was a shame students who were just doing the right thing coming to school were at risk, he said.