AURORA, Colo. -- Police are now offering $20,000 -- the largest reward offered in the history of the department -- for information about a man who pulled an 8-year-old girl from her bed in Aurora on Monday morning.
The kidnapping was described as “bold and brazen” by Aurora police, who said the incident took place near the intersection of E. 16th Avenue and Hanover Street, which is about a mile north of E. Colfax Avenue, around 12:15 a.m.
During a Monday afternoon news conference Chief Dan Oates said investigators are treating the case "extremely seriously."
"There is a predator out there," Oates said. "He needs to be caught and stopped." Scroll down to see the officials Aurora Police crime bulletin.
Police said the kidnapper parked a vehicle in the alley behind the girl’s home. He removed the screen door from the window, opened the girl’s unlocked window and grabbed her from her bed, police said.
He brought her back out of the window, through the backyard and into the alley, police said.
The man might have gotten away with the girl as well, police said, had she not started screaming. That alerted her parents as well as several other neighbors in the area.
"This young girl immediately cried out. Immediately put up a fuss and struggle," Oates said.
At that point, police said the girl’s father came sprinting into the alley, where he found the girl alone.
The man ran away, got into an older-model BMW and drove out of the alley, onto E. 16th Avenue, and headed west.
Police said the man was white, had blond hair and was wearing a dark jacket. He had the distinct odor of cigarette smoke.
Oates said the girl had been cooperative with police and helped them develop a composite sketch of a suspect, which they expected to be released soon.
The 8-year-old girl was taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries, but was back at home in bed by 5 a.m.
Oates said police contacted the superintendent of Aurora Public Schools and parents of children in the area would likely get a message with safety tips for children.
If you have any information about this attempted kidnapping, you're being urged to contact Detective Christine Hurley at 303-739-6113. You can also remain anonymous by sending tips to Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.