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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 October 2006, 17:08 GMT 18:08 UK
Hunt for driver as girl is found
Alan Grant, who police named as the van driver

Police are searching for the driver of a white van after a teenage girl kidnapped from a street was put through a "horrendous" 15-hour ordeal.

The 15-year-old went missing in Wrexham and was found safe on Saturday morning, 70 miles away in Bangor, Gwynedd.

Police took the unusual decision to name the driver as Alan Grant, who also uses the name Alan Weston and is from Stockport, Greater Manchester.

Officers have now found the LDV van, but warned people not to approach him.

North Wales Police said the girl was traumatised and receiving medical attention, but "physically fit".

We had to make the very rare decision to release Alan Grant's name because of our concerns about the safety of the young girl
Det Supt Peter Chalinor

She is being supported by family members and police liaison officers.

Iain Shannon, the assistant chief constable, made a direct appeal to the driver to give himself up either by calling 999 or walking into a police station.

He said police had "good grounds" to believe he was still in north-west Wales, and urged anyone who can help to contact police. The search was being concentrated south of Bangor, including Bethesda and Y Felinheli.

Orange beacon

Officers said the girl was snatched near Summerhill Road in Wrexham at about 1600 BST on Friday.

Police were called by a member of the public, who said the girl was being forced into the van, registration R474 GNB.

Some three hours later the girl was reported missing after she failed to return home, and police launched a large operation to try to find her.

She was found safe just before 0700 BST on Saturday in the Bangor area, where the van was also traced about an hour later. The vehicle had an orange beacon on the roof.

Police sign

Det Supt Peter Chalinor, who is leading the inquiry, said: "We've had one of the biggest searches this force has ever had.

"We've also had assistance from all the north-west forces in this search. We had to make the very rare decision to release Alan Grant's name because of our concerns about the safety of the young girl.

"We need to speak to Mr Grant as soon as possible. We do not - I repeat do not - want the public to approach him, but to call 999.

"We are trying to protect the public."

He added: "The girl's family are obviously extremely relieved to have her home.

"She is extremely traumatised after a horrendous ordeal but she is now receiving medical treatment and a family liaison officer is supporting the family."

Police conduct a nationwide manhunt

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