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.