I fear it is more a case of '(not so) great minds think alike'. Which is actually worse; because like lone wolf terrorists an organised cell or gang is easier to smash for good. From the Sheffield Star
South Yorkshire Police moved to calm fears after a horrified Sheffield mum ran off from a gang of men who approached her in a city street and offered her cash in exchange for her daughter. The woman told officers she was walking her daughter to school when she was approached by a group of three men who produced a ‘large amount of money’ and offered to ‘buy’ her daughter. The man from the group who offered the cash was of possible Middle Eastern origin.
...speaking about the latest incident, PCSO Kenneth Blake said: “At approximately 8.20am on 1 December, a local resident was walking her daughter to Lower Meadow School along Batemoor Road. A male, of possible Middle Eastern origin, along with two other males, have approached the mother, taken out a large amount of money and offered to buy the daughter.
“The mother has refused and ran towards the school with her daughter. The mother then heard a screech of car tyres and a black/ blue vehicle has made off towards Dyche Lane, with the three males inside. Unfortunately, no number was got for the vehicle.”
Last month, police in Doncaster launched an investigation into reports that another mum was approached by a group of men in Primark in the town centre who offered a ‘good price’ for her daughter as they followed them around the shop.
From the Doncaster Free Press: A spokesman said: “We received a report at on 14 November of concern for safety in Primark, Doncaster. It was reported that on the 12 November at around 4pm, a woman and young girl were in Primark where they believed they were being followed by a group of men. The men made them feel uncomfortable and allegedly made inappropriate comments towards the young girl...."
In a widely circulated social media post, which was later deleted before being reinstated, the mum wrote: “Keep a close eye of your children in town centre! Four foreign men followed me, mum and my little girl – thought we would walk into Primark to see if they was definitely following! . .. Two of the men stayed outside and pointed to my daughter! . . . one went down on his knees to her, I then picked her straight up he bolted out of Primark to the other guys.
"Security guard seen they approached us, said they was watching them following us. Next minute they all come back in and surrounded us in the women's clothes section so I asked what they was doing and why they kept following us!
"They said she is such a beautiful girl – good price. Never have I felt so sick to my stomach !!! PLEASE keep an eye out!!”
Today, South Yorkshire Police said: “There are no links at present to other activity.”
Last week the Sheffield Star reported this
Two men jailed over abduction of four-year-old girl in Sheffield
Mihai Alecsa, aged 36 and Vasile Togan, 51, both of Brunswick Road, Burngreave, were arrested after a young girl was reported missing from the Brunswick Road area at around 6.30pm on Sunday, March 28. She was found around 45 minutes later at an address on nearby Spital Road. They were both jailed for 21 months.
When the disappearance was reported, South Yorkshire Police stressed that it was an isolated case.
Detective Inspector Eleanor Welsh said: “We would like to reassure our communities that this appears to be an isolated incident at this time.”
That was then; this is now. More packs of "lone wolves", running amok?