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CCTV shows woman followed before knife-wielding attacker dragged her down an alley

Chilling footage shows a woman being followed just moments before a man grabbed her from behind, held a knife to her cheek and dragged her down an alley.

The woman was walking home along Fern Street, Bolton, when the man struck.

Fortunately, she was able to struggle free and managed to call police before the man fled the scene.

Worryingly, based on the woman's description, officers believe her attacker may have followed another woman that same night.

Detectives from Greater Manchester Police have released CCTV of the moments leading up to the attempted kidnapping, as they appeal for witnesses.

The suspect in the attack, which happened between 10.55pm and 11.05pm on the evening of Thursday August 18, was wearing a baseball cap, a grey short-sleeved polo shirt, dark trousers and white trainers.

The man is spotted following the woman down the street Credit: Greater Manchester Police
The suspect was caught on CCTV Credit: Greater Manchester Police
The man continued to follow the woman as she made her way home Credit: Greater Manchester Police
Now without a bicycle, the man appears to jog to catch up with the woman Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Det Cons Pam Chandler said officers are keen to speak to the man seen in the footage, as well as any witnesses.

In particular, they believe a man seen talking a man talking to people in a vehicle parked on Deane Road facing Bolton Town Centre and a man stood outside the Gilnow Arms at around 10.30pm may be able to help.

This was a terrifying experience for the woman and it is fortunate that she was not seriously injured.

We are keen to speak to the man who was in the area at the time and another woman who we believe may have also been followed.

We would urge anyone, who recognises the man in the footage or may have information that can help our investigation to come forward.

– DC Pam Chandler, Greater Manchester Police, Bolton division

Witnesses or anyone with information are urged to call police on 101 or 0161 856 5619, quoting incident number 2730 of 18/08/16, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.