Police hose-down kidnap rumours

A face image of the suspect.

Police have urged Macedon Ranges residents not to believe rumours circulating on social media as they continue to investigate the attempted abduction of a schoolgirl near Riddells Creek.

Inspector Ryan Irwin said police were aware of exaggerated reports suggesting there had been a string of incidents in the area.

He said comments on Facebook and similar mediums were creating ‘‘unnecessary fear’’ in the community.

As reported by Star Weekly, members of the Bendigo sexual offences and child abuse unit are investigating an incident which occurred on July 20.

A 14-year-old schoolgirl was walking along Amess Road when she was approached by a man in a black car about 4.30pm.

The man – believed to be in his 40s – is alleged to have repeatedly offered the girl a ride home. After she declined, he opened the car door and tried to grab the girl’s arm.

The girl, a student at Sacred Heart College in Kyneton, had just got off a school bus.

Inspector Irwin said rumours that it was one of several incidents reported to police were totally false.

‘‘People need to make sure they are getting their information from official sources,’’ he said.

‘‘There is absolutely no need for panic. We believe this was an isolated incident.’’

Inspector Irwin said there was nothing to suggest the July 20 incident was linked to reports in other areas of the Macedon Ranges earlier this year.

Detectives again visited Riddells Creek earlier this week as they continue to piece together what happened.

As reported by Star Weekly‘‘If there are people who have any information regarding that incident we would encourage them to contact Crime Stoppers,’’ Inspector Irwin said.