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Woman charged for kidnap attempts

Encounters are lesson for kids, parent says
By: Penne Usher Journal Staff Writer
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Linda Rector always picks up 9-year-old granddaughter from school, but with Tuesday's report of attempted abductions in the area of Alta Vista School in Auburn, she's operating from a heightened state of awareness. It actually made me want to be even more alert than I already am, Rector said Wednesday afternoon. I am checking the people coming and going. It raises that alertness. Tuesday afternoon Auburn police officers apprehended 59-year-old Ilene Spooner after she reportedly tried to lure elementary-aged children into her green Ford Explorer. She was asking children to get in her car and come and live with her, said Lt. Scott Burns of the Auburn Police Department. Spooner was taken into custody around 5:30 p.m. on Lincoln way near High Street in Auburn. Initially suspected of attempted abduction, Spooner now faces additional charges. She's been charged with attempted kidnapping, annoying and molesting children and drunk driving, Burns said. After hearing news of the arrest, school officials alerted parents by phone. Georgina Kier, who waited outside the school for her 11-year-old son Joshua, said she received a call from the school district's superintendent Tuesday night regarding the attempted abductions. I didn't feel alarmed, Kier said. But, it was good to get a heads up. Kier took the news as an opportunity for education. I used it as a learning tool for my 9-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son, she said. It's obvious the children involved went and told an adult. Sam Schug, principal of Alta Vista Elementary school, was quick to point out Wednesday that the alleged attempted abductions did not take place on the school's campus, but within a few blocks of the school. We looked into it and we determined it was in the area, and not an Alta Vista campus issue, he said. But, it's always a concern. Burns said officers would continue with additional patrols in the area of the school. We think this was an isolated incident at this point, but we are on a heightened sense of alert, he said. Spooner reportedly has had prior contact with law enforcement. We've had prior contact with her, however, we've had no prior charges on her that were of this nature, Burns said. Spooner is being held on $210,000 bail in the Placer County Jail and is expected to be arraigned Thursday. The Journal's Penne Usher can be reached at penneu@goldcountrymedia.com or post a comment on auburnjournal.com.