SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Western Mass News has learned that the father of a young girl reported to police that the suspect in yesterday's kidnapping approached his daughter on Monday at a McDonald's.

It was at the McDonald's in Mason Square on Monday that a father told police a man matching Rodriguez's description tried to make contact with his daughter.

"It was suspicious," Springfield Police spokesperson Ryan Walsh tells us.

As police swarmed western Mass, searching for 11-year-old Charlotte Moccia Wednesday, police say they were contacted by a man who recognized the car police where searching for, because he saw it earlier in the week when he feared his own daughter was in jeopardy.

"When all this was going on he said, 'Hey, this is all so familiar. The dad came back in, repeated that license plate information to officers, and within minutes, matched the license plate information given by the husband and wife team on Facebook," says Walsh.

Walsh tells Western Mass News the father reported to them on Monday that a man matching Miguel Rodriguez's description tried to approach his daughter at the McDonald's in Mason Square in Springfield.

"It was someone trying to get his daughter's attention from a car, which, unfortunately, isn't arrestable by any means," continued Walsh.

But the father didn’t take this lightly and took action.

"He went and followed him and wrote down the license and type of car it was," said Walsh.

Police say, during the search for Charlotte, the dad from McDonald's went to the police station, giving them the license number from earlier in the week.

Walsh says this added information is another thing that the public did to help find Rodriguez.

"It is suspicious behavior and his father did a great thing by making note of that suspicious behavior, which played a huge role in connecting the dots and bringing this criminal to justice," added Walsh.

We stopped into the McDonald's and employees say they have seen Rodriguez there before.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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