Portland police on Saturday declined to discuss details of the attempted kidnapping of an infant at a Hannaford supermarket Friday, citing the ongoing investigation as the reason.

The incident happened shortly after 1 p.m. Friday at the Back Cove Hannaford, when the infant’s father alerted store staff that someone had taken his baby in a shopping cart.

Store officials locked all store exits and announced a “Code Adam” over the store’s loudspeakers, prompting staff to be stationed at doors to check for people trying to leave with a child. The infant was later found unharmed in another part of the store.

Police Lt. Robert Martin said in an email Saturday there were “no updates” on the case to report but that police may discuss it Monday. City spokeswoman Jessica Grondin said in a text message that “the investigation is ongoing and because of that we can’t say more at this time.”

Both Martin and Grondin were emailed specific questions which remained unanswered Saturday, including whether there are any leads on the suspect’s whereabouts, how many officers are working the case and if video of the suspect will be released.

Police Chief Michael Sauschuck, speaking after the incident Friday, declined to go into specifics, except to say “the child was certainly taken from the area where the baby’s father was to another location in the store.” He said the infant was unharmed and never left the store.

Sauschuck said Friday police were looking for a white man in his 30s wearing a yellow shirt and a white hat with an orange brim. He said police were reviewing “video evidence” taken in the store and may release the video depending on how the case develops.

Sauschuck praised Hannaford employees for following the “Code Adam” so well, allowing no one to leave the store until the child was located. It is believed the suspect left the store once doors were opened and business resumed.

A “Code Adam” refers to a child-safety program used by many retailers and businesses around the country. It’s named for Adam Walsh, a 6-year-old who was abducted from a Florida store in 1981 and later found dead.

Hannaford spokesman Eric Blom referred questions about what happened Friday and the investigation to police. But Blom said Hannaford was “very proud of our associates and the way they followed procedures and did their jobs. We feel we have a pretty strong policy in place, and it worked.”

Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

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