police

JEROME — Police confirmed they are investigating a reported Friday kidnapping attempt.

“Shortly before 10 p.m, we received a call that someone tried to abduct an 8-year-old boy,” Jerome Police Chief Dan Hall said.

The incident took place in the 200 block of Seventh Avenue West in Jerome.

The boy’s mother posted about the incident on Facebook over the weekend, but police declined to comment until Monday.

Officers immediately responded to the scene, Hall said. The boy’s mother, Lissa Burlington, reported that a white man in a white van with no license plate had attempted to kidnap her son.

Officers spoke with the boy, who told them he was riding his bike near his home right around dusk, Hall said. The white van pulled up next to him and the man tried to grab him through the open sliding door.

The boy screamed and ran away, Hall said.

The family immediately jumped into action, Burlington told the Times-News. She was in the yard on the side of the house, with her two other children in the front yard. The kids reached their younger brother within seconds, with Burlington close behind.

Burlington said her son didn’t recognize the men.

“He cried all that night,” she said. “He kept waking up and was really jumpy.”

While no other witnesses to the incident have come forward, the boy’s brother and sister did see the van driving away, Hall said. Officers checked the immediate area for similar vehicles, but none were found at the time.

Police have been in contact with Burlington, who was told they are checking the neighborhood for any security cameras that might have recorded the incident.

“We’re trying to follow up as best we can,” Hall said. “We have officers assigned to the case.”

Anyone who may have seen something is asked to contact the Jerome Police Department at 208-324-4328.

Burlington’s Facebook post about the incident has received responses indicating others have had similar experiences in the Jerome area. Reports have not been made, however, because of the victims’ legal status, she said.

“This is very concerning,” Hall concluded about the attempted abduction. “We absolutely are taking it seriously.”