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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 October 2006, 16:16 GMT 17:16 UK
Search widens after girl's kidnap
Alan Grant, also known as Alan Weston

The search has widened for a van driver after a teenage girl kidnapped in the street underwent a "horrendous" ordeal.

The 15-year-old was snatched in Wrexham and found safe 15 hours later on Saturday morning in Bangor, Gwynedd.

North Wales Police no longer believe Alan Grant, also known as Alan Weston, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, is in the Bangor area.

Assistant chief constable Iain Shannon said the public had given police several possible sightings of him.

We are very concerned that the kidnapper is still at large and a threat to the public
Assistant chief constable Iain Shannon

Police are liaising with other forces and have warned the public not to approach the driver, whose van has been traced.

Mr Shannon said: "We are very concerned that the kidnapper is still at large and a threat to the public. But we want to reassure people we are doing absolutely everything to protect them."

"We are leaving no stone unturned and feel confident that in due course we will come to a successful conclusion.

Mr Shannon said a large number of officers were involved in the hunt, and added: "We will commit whatever resources we need to commit to finding this man."

He said the girl had been hurt but not seriously injured. "Although she is recovering, she is still extremely traumatised," he added.

Police sign and tape at the side of the road
Police tape near the scene of Friday's abduction in Wrexham

It began at about 1600 BST on Friday when she was spotted being forced into a van near busy Summerhill Road, on the edge of Wrexham.

A member of the public called police, and three hours later the girl was reported missing after failing to return home.

North Wales Police launched one of the biggest searches they have ever staged, with help from other forces in the area.

Tree-lined path

No details have been made public on how the girl was found, but she was traced some 70 miles away at about 0700 BST on Saturday.

She is receiving medical treatment and being supported by relatives and police family liaison officers.

The white LDV van, registration R474 GNB, which had an orange beacon on the roof, was found at a farm three miles outside Bangor, about an hour after the girl was traced.

We do not - I repeat do not - want the public to approach him, but to call 999
Det Supt Peter Chalinor

At the kidnap scene, police tape was strung across the tree-lined path alongside the road, and signs asked the public for information.

There were road blocks in place in the Bangor area on Saturday, but but these were lifted after the hunt was broadened.

The kidnap happened just along from Pendine Park Nursing Home

Det Supt Peter Chalinor, who is heading the inquiry, said: "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 said the girl's family were "obviously extremely relieved to have her home".




SEE ALSO
Hunt for driver as girl is found
21 Oct 06 |  North East Wales

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