Mounties in Port Alberni are searching for a man accused of trying to lure a nine-year-old girl from a residential area into the woods.

The girl was walking in the 3800-block of China Creek Road at 7 p.m. when the man approached her and asked her name, then asked her if she wanted to walk on a trail in a nearby wooded area.

The girl refused and went into a house to inform an adult, while the man waited for about a minute and then walked away toward Montrose Street, according to RCMP.

Police were called to the area and patrolled streets, trails and schoolyards but couldn’t find the man.

He’s described as white, around 20 years old, standing about 5’9” with an average build and short strawberry blond hair. He was clean-shaven, had a pale complexion and was wearing a black T-shirt and shorts, police say.

Port Alberni RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Amelia Hayden say they don’t know what the man’s intentions were but they’d like to speak to him

She also commended the nine-year-old girl for immediately telling an adult about the encounter.

“We want to take this opportunity to remind parents to watch your children and to talk with them about stranger danger,” said Hayden.

Anyone who saw the incident or knows the man is asked to call RCMP at 250-723-2424 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.