This is the moment an elderly man took hold of a toddler’s hand in an apparent attempt to lead him away from his mother in broad daylight.
CCTV footage shows the man, believed to be in his 60s, approaching the 22-month old boy in a busy shopping centre on Thursday.
The boy’s blonde mum can be seen walking into a branch of Boots with the child just behind her when the suspect grabs the boy’s arm while her back is turned.
He appears to say something to the youngster before leading him away from the store entrance at Intu Shopping Centre in Derby at around 10.10am.
His mum turned around just as the stranger was about to disappear out of view and confronted the man.
He then makes his apologies but attempts to take the child’s hand a SECOND time before finally walking away.
Derbyshire Police released footage of the incident in an attempt to track down the suspect, who was wearing a dark coat and a flat cap.
Detective Chief Inspector Nick Lamb said: “This was a very isolated and extremely unusual incident and we are very keen to speak to the person shown in the images.
“Although we do not know the intentions of the man involved, I would urge parents or those with young children to always be mindful of their safety, especially in crowded places.”
Derbyshire Police revealed today that an 80-year-old man had come forward following the police appeal.
The pensioner contacted officers after the CCTV footage was released and was being quizzed by detectives yesterday morning.
Detective Chief Inspector Nick Lamb added: “It appears that the man shown in the CCTV footage may have been acting with good intentions but we will be speaking to him today to ascertain the full details.
“We received a large number of calls on the back of the appeal and I would like to thank members of the public for their response.
“It was a highly unusual incident and we will be continuing our inquiries into it today.”