SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Two cousins out on the town Saturday night say they witnessed an attempted kidnapping in a downtown Sacramento alley. Now, they're warning other women to be on high alert.
The Sacramento Police Department is taking the investigation seriously and asking for the public's help.
The cousins said they heard screams coming from Fat Alley while they were heading home from a night of clubbing in downtown Sacramento.
"Me and my cousin were like, 'Did you just almost get kidnapped, right now? and she was like 'Yes, yes! Por que, yes!'" said Monice Ocascio.
She and Daniela Carasco said they circled around to check on the woman and found her with her husband, shaking and crying uncontrollably after a white van sped off.
Kevin Toney, another witness, says he also saw the alleged attempted kidnapping.
"She was getting dragged out of the van by her husband already when I had came up," Toney said.
Another witness consoled the couple who rushed home without reporting it to police. The cousins said they were traumatized and decided to share a warning to social media after they followed the white van to capture its Texas license plate. They say it was white with blue lettering with several characters missing.
"I was afraid of speaking up because I didn't know people would care," Carasco said.
The post has been gaining traction with more than 80 people reaching out to Carasco to share sighting and close calls with a similar, suspicious van.
"It was really scary to realize that my interaction with this stranger could have been something worse," Miranda Alvarez said.
Alvarez says she was assaulted by a man who jumped out of a white van with blue lettering in late October near the Ice Blocks area while coming home from a concert.
"I scared him by my screaming and he walked back over to his van and drove away," Alvarez said.
Police confirm they have detectives investigating the report of a suspicious vehicle and are asking the public for information to track down the driver and any other victims.
Meanwhile, the witnesses say the experience opened their eyes to the potential of kidnapping and human trafficking in Sacramento, which consistently has one of the highest rates of trafficking in the country.
"Hopefully, this experience wakes a lot of people up, honestly, because it's in front of our faces. We just don't know it," Carasco said.
A photo of a plumbing company van matches the vehicle's description being shared online. ABC10 checked the business addresses and phone numbers, which all lead to dead ends or false information.
The cousins are speaking out because they want women going out in the downtown area to be alert and safe to have a companion walk with them.
A full statement from the Sacramento Police Department is available below.
We can confirm that we have received a complaint regarding a suspicious vehicle in the area of 10th Street and F Street, specifically related to a social media post that has circulated recently. The incident was reported last night and was stated to have occurred on November 14th.
This information has now been forwarded to detectives who are following up on the circumstances of the report. We have not received any additional complaints at this time, however anybody with information regarding this vehicle or similar incidents is urged to contact the police department.