Police are hunting a teenage boy aged just 13-YEARS-OLD wanted on suspicion of sexually assaulting a young girl near a car wash in broad daylight.
The “serious and sustained” attack happened as the 10-year-old victim was walking along a road in Shrewsbury, Shrops., at 3.45pm on Friday.
West Mercia Police said the youth was carrying a rod and fishing tackle as he tracked the child along busy St Michael’s Road towards Ditherington Road.
He then lured her to an isolated location just away from the eyes of passing motorists by pretending he had lost something before subjecting his victim to the vile assault.
Police are now appealing for information to the attack, which took place behind a container at a disused car-wash in the picturesque market town.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil Jamieson, from West Mercia Police, said: “There were dozens of motorists passing by at the time and both the victim and the offender must have been seen, either together or separately.
“It is absolutely vital potential witnesses contact Shrewsbury CID as a matter of urgency.
“This was a serious sexual offence against a 10-year-old girl who was followed for some distance by the offender before he approached her and persuaded her to go with him.
“The critical time is between 3.30pm and 4.30pm on Friday.
“It goes without saying that this individual must be traced quickly and the public can help us.
“Almost certainly they will have crossed St Michael’s Street to get onto the opposite pavement and at some point he has approached the girl, saying he had lost something and asking for help in finding it.
“The girl was led to some disused land near the Arc car wash centre and taken behind a container where she was subjected to the assault.
“I am asking people who were in the St Michael’s Street area on Friday afternoon to cast their minds back and to think if they possibly saw this little girl and a youth carrying a fishing rod and tackle box, either together or separately.
“Do call us if you have any information at all, however insignificant it may seem.
“We are confident of finding this offender but we need people to come forward with details of possible sightings or any other information which might help identify him.”
The boy was wearing wearing a distinctive hooded top with a light and dark hooped pattern and carrying a rod and a tackle box.
He is described as white, around 5ft 7ins to 5ft 10ins tall, aged in his teens, with black hair and wearing light blue trousers or jeans and white shoes.
Police are now warning families with children to be on their guard particularly in light of the start of the Easter holidays.
DC Jamieson added: “I would recommend that, if at all possible, primary school-aged children are supervised when away from home either by yourselves or a trusted adult.
“This week it is the Easter holidays, so for the time being, we suggest parents make sure they know where their children are and if possible stay in contact via mobile phone.”