Police in Kwa-Zulu Natal are urging all parents to be vigilant and safeguard their children this festive season. A man has been arrested in connection with the attempted kidnapping of a toddler at a shopping mall in Umhlanga.

The child was with his grandmother at the time of the incident. Police say the woman spotted the man, wearing a security uniform, carrying the child into one of the stores. She then grabbed the child from his arms and alerted mall management who in turn called the police.

The man fled the scene and police launched a manhunt after identifying him as one of the malls security guards via CCTV footage. Police spokesperson Jay Naicker says the suspect will appear in the Verulam Magistrates Court on Monday.

“The suspect was immediately identified as a security guard who was on duty at the mall and he was promptly arrested. A case of kidnapping was opened at Durban North police station for investigation. We are appealing to parents and guardians to always keep an eye on their children especially during this peak festive period. At this stage we do not know what the suspects intentions were but this incident once again highlights the need for us to remain vigilant at all times. We wish to applaud the grandmother for taking immediate action and informing authorities of the incident,” says Naicker.