HEIDELBERG, Germany — German authorities in the Heidelberg area are seeking anyone who may have had contact with an elderly German man who called himself “Uncle Hans.”

The 79-year-old man, who looks more like he’s in his 60s, is now in custody under suspicion of molesting at least one 5-year-old girl, according to Harald Kruzer, a spokesman for the German police.

“We think there are more victims out there,” said Kruzer, “and witnesses have told us that he was in contact with several American families.” German law prohibits authorities from releasing the suspect’s name.

Kruzer said the man endeared himself to families, earning their trust “step-by-step” over time by offering candy, toys and clothing to children and helping their parents with car repairs and eventually child-care services.

Although Army officials say there is no indication at this point that American children were molested, they urge anyone with information or questions to come forward.

“It can’t be ruled out that he didn’t try playing the same dirty tricks on American families,” said Army spokeswoman Christine Gephard. “Parents may not even be aware that it was going on, so we want to warn Americans who may have had contact with this guy.”

Anyone with pertinent information is requested to contact Army investigators at DSN 385-3603 or 385-3606, or civilian 0621-730-3603 or 0621-730-3606. They may also call German authorities.

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