Halifax police are looking for a man who they believe lured a four-year-old boy into a grocery store washroom this week.
Just after 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Halifax Regional Police were called to the Superstore on Joseph Howe Drive. When officers arrived, they learned that a man approached the youth, and took him to the washroom. The boy was later reported missing and staff tried to locate him.
Police say the man left the washroom with the child, and when he reached the main floor, walked out of the store.
The child was located unharmed and returned to his parents.
“We do have a sense of what took place although we’re not releasing that to the public,” said police spokesman Const. Brian Palmeter about what happened inside the washroom. “We do believe at this point the child was not physically or sexually assaulted.”
Investigators were scheduled to interview the victim Thursday afternoon to get more information about the case. Palmeter wouldn’t say specifically how long police thought he was inside the washroom, only that it wasn’t an extended period of time.
Police say the victim was in an aisle not far from his parents when he was approached by the suspect. From there, the two went to the bathroom on the second-level.
“While we’re not trying to point the fingers at the parents, it’s a reminder that parents and guardians always have to be mindful of where there children are at all times,” Palmeter said. “It only takes a minute unfortunately for children to go missing.”
On Thursday, police released an image of the man to the public in hopes of identifying him. He is described as white, between 25 and 35 years old, about 220 pounds with short brown hair. He was wearing a zip-up blue and white checkered hoodie, dark pants, and a green ball hat with white stripes and sunglasses on top of the hat.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 490-5016 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.