QUEENS — A pair of men — including one who donned a mask and was handed a gun — attempted to abduct four girls as they were returning home from school in two separate incidents in Southeast Queens Wednesday, police said.
The first incident occurred at 4 p.m. on April 30 near the intersection of 111th Avenue and 208th Street in Queens Village, police said.
An 11-year-old girl was on her way home from school when she saw a dark-green SUV, with two men inside, slowly following her, according to the NYPD.
The man who was in the passenger seat got out of the car and tried to talk to the girl, saying "come here," police said. Authorities said he was wearing a mask.
The girl managed to escape and the men drove away, police said.
Shortly after that, the men tried to abduct three girls who were walking together near the intersection of 113th Avenue and 196th Street in Hollis, about 12 blocks away from the previous incident.
The girls — a 10-year-old and two 11-year-olds — who were also on their way home from school, noticed that a green Jeep Cherokee with a NYS license plate was following them, police said.
Authorities said that the plate began with the number "74."
In that incident, police said that the driver handed a firearm to the man sitting in the passenger seat. That man than covered his face with a mask before getting out of the car.
The girls ran away and hid behind a parked car until the men drove past. The men circled back and passed the girls again before driving away, police said.
The suspects are described as being between 16-20 years-old.
Authorities believe the same car was used in both incidents and are currently working on sketches of the suspects.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers' website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577.
All calls are strictly confidential.