Portland police are seeking a man who tried to kidnap an infant from the Hannaford store in Back Cove on Friday.

Police reported that a man walked away with a child in a cart while the infant’s father was shopping. Police Chief Michael Sauschuck said the call about the potential child abduction came in just after 1 p.m.

The father alerted store personnel, who ordered a “code Adam,” said Michael Norton, a spokesman for the Scarborough-based chain.

Norton said an announcement of a “code Adam” is made over the store public address system and all entrances and exits to the store are locked. Store employees are stationed at entrances and exits to the store and check to make sure no one tries to walk out with a child.

When the child was located elsewhere in the store shortly afterward, the code Adam was lifted and the doors reopened. It is believed the suspect left the store at that time.

Police said they were looking for a white man in his 30s wearing a yellow shirt and white hat with an orange brim.

Sauschuck declined to go into specifics about the man they are seeking, apart from saying that “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 fine and never left Hannaford, but the incident left the family “shaken.”

“The staff here, the security and the management did an incredible job following their internal protocols,” Sauschuck told reporters outside the store. “We are following some video evidence and doing some additional follow-up now to determine exactly what occurred inside. I will say the circumstances are certainly suspicious in nature.”

Sauschuck said police may release the video, depending on the outcome of their efforts to find the “person of interest.” He said they had not yet determined what criminal charges the individual could face.

Norton said apparently no one stopped the suspect from leaving the store because they didn’t have a description of him and they were watching for a child.

“The store team did an excellent job,” Norton said.

Staff Writer Kevin Miller contributed to this report.

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

[email protected]

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