Kidnapping attempted at Vancouver Chinese New Year event

A woman allegedly tried to walk off with a four-year-old girl at the edge of Vancouver's Chinatown during Saturday's Lunar New Year festivities.

Vancouver Police Department issued public warning Thursday for incident that happened Saturday

The International Village Mall, at Pender Street and Abbott in Vancouver's Chinatown, is also known as Tinseltown. Police say a family reported that a woman tried to walk off with a four-year-old girl at the mall on Saturday during a Chinese New Year event, but it appears now that the alleged abductors were just trying to help. (CBC)

UPDATE: Police now say, after further investigation, it appears there was no attempted abduction


A woman allegedly tried to walk off with a four-year-old girl at the edge of Vancouver's Chinatown during Saturday's Lunar New Year festivities.

The Vancouver Police Department issued a warning Thursday afternoon, and appealed to the public for information about the alleged would-be abductors.

The incident happened at the International Village Mall at 88 West Pender — which many know as "Tinseltown" — at about 2 p.m. PT.

The family of the toddler told police that they saw a woman holding the hand of their four-year-old, and leading the child away.

Family members went after them, intervened, and the woman left the area.

Police said the woman was described as white, 50 to 55-years-old, between five feet ten inches and six feet tall with a heavy or overweight build. She had glasses and long, curly brown hair in a ponytail and was wearing a dark jacket and dark pants.

Witnesses saw her with a man who was white, 30 to 35-years-old, and over six feet tall, with a very heavy or overweight build. He had a moustache and was balding on the top of his head, with thick shoulder-length brown hair from the sides. He was wearing dark-coloured clothes.

Police are asking anyone with information on the incident to call the Vancouver Police Sex Crimes Unit at (604) 717-0600 or Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222-8477.

Map: Tinseltown, 88 West Pender