UPDATE: A family friend of one of the children involved in a series of abduction attempts in Perth’s southern suburbs has spoken of the boy’s terror following the incident.
Since Wednesday morning, a man - possibly with a male accomplice - has approached three children in Armadale, Huntingdale and Kenwick, attempting to lure them into a white van.
All three victims have relayed a similar description of the would-be kidnapper, in particular the man’s pale, freckled face and bright red hair.
Glenn Williams, a family friend of the 11-year-old boy who was approached on his way to school in Huntingdale on Wednesday morning, said the child was now scared to leave the home without adult supervision.
"It’s a shock. He won't go to the shops, he won't go anywhere, he won’t go to school unless we drive him," Mr Williams said. "(We're) just devastated."
Mr Williams revealed the boy had recently lost his father and the attempted abduction just added to the trauma.
"It’s something that isn't needed at all," he said. "The young bloke was on his way to school got approached by a van, this guy tried to get him into the van.
"Luckily enough the young bloke knows stranger danger and came straight to the house."
The first reported attempt came 20 minutes prior to the Huntingdale incident when a 16-year-old girl was targeted in Armadale.
The most recent came yesterday afternoon when a 10-year-old boy was walking with a friend along Kenwick Road, near East Kenwick Primary School, as a white van pulled up alongside them. A man yelled at the boy to get in the vehicle.
Mr Williams said he felt sick when he heard another child had been targeted.
"My heart went to my throat," he said.
Armadale police detective sergeant Rick Branch said it had become apparent a second man may be assisting the offender identified in all three incidents.
"The only description we have in relation to possibly a second person being involved is that one of the victims heard a door open on the van and in the third incident the two boys did see a second person in the rear of the van and only described his shoes," Det-Sgt Branch said. "It was a male."
Det-Sgt Branch said police were "gravely concerned" the three attempts were linked and that a full team of detectives had been working on the case for the past two days.
He urged the entire community to be more watchful.
"We're asking all parents, teachers and members of the public to be vigilant around schools and public places," he said.
"Further, we ask for the sake of your children you sit down and have a chat with them about their personal safety, make them aware of their environment, make them aware of what's going on around them."
Anyone with information about the incidents or the man is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
A 55-year-old main was refused bail and will appear in Kalgoorlie court tomorrow.