Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies surround an older model Winnebago recreation vehicle in the Crossroads Shopping Center parking lot outside the Pei Wei restaurant near the intersection of McBean Parkway and Valencia Boulevard. The RV was the focus of a reported attemtped kidnapping a few blocks away. Austin Dave/The Signal

Prosecutors toss out case against man accused of trying to kidnap toddler

Citing insufficient evidence, prosecutors announced they will not be prosecuting a 60-year-old man accused of trying to snatch a toddler in Valencia earlier this week.

On Monday, shortly after 11:09 a.m., a 911 caller reported a man attempting to grab a child outside the Nordstrom Rack department store on the 27000 block of McBean Parkway.

A short time later, George Michael Starr, 60, was arrested on suspicion of attempted kidnapping, Deputy Josh Stamsek said. His bail was set at $100,000.

“Regarding Starr, a case was declined due to insufficient evidence,” Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, said Friday.

The suspect apparently fled the scene in a tan 1970s van conversion RV after the child’s mother and witnesses intervened, sheriff’s officials said.

Several units, including a helicopter, were dispatched to the scene to locate the vehicle from both the ground and the air.

Deputies located the converted RV and set up a loose containment around the shopping center to prevent the suspect from escaping.

At 11:38 a.m., ground units with rifles and service weapons converged on the vehicle parked in the Valencia Crossroads Shopping Center on the 24200 block of Valencia Boulevard, a few blocks from where the alleged crime was reported.

The Starr case is the second local case in less than a week of an alleged serious crime to be abandoned by prosecutors due to a lack of evidence.

On Tuesday, prosecutors announced they would not prosecute a Castaic woman arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

 

Linda Myers, 60, of Castaic, was detained following a seven-hour standoff with sheriff’s deputies in Castaic Friday, Sept. 14, after deputies reportedly heard shots fired from her apartment.

 

Prosecutors said that without a gun, bullet casings or a bullet hole, there was insufficient evidence to proceed.

 

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