Thursday Mar 20 2008
Woman charged for kidnap attempts
By: Penne Usher Journal Staff Writer
Encounters are lesson for kids, parent says
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment on auburnjournal.com.