The Vancouver Police Department issued a warning Thursday afternoon, and appealed to the public for information about the alleged would-be abductors.
The incident happened at the International Village Mall at 88 West Pender — which many know as "Tinseltown" — at about 2 p.m. PT.
The family of the toddler told police that they saw a woman holding the hand of their four-year-old, and leading the child away.
Family members went after them, intervened, and the woman left the area.
Police said the woman was described as white, 50 to 55-years-old, between five feet ten inches and six feet tall with a heavy or overweight build. She had glasses and long, curly brown hair in a ponytail and was wearing a dark jacket and dark pants.
Witnesses saw her with a man who was white, 30 to 35-years-old, and over six feet tall, with a very heavy or overweight build. He had a moustache and was balding on the top of his head, with thick shoulder-length brown hair from the sides. He was wearing dark-coloured clothes.
Police are asking anyone with information on the incident to call the Vancouver Police Sex Crimes Unit at (604) 717-0600 or Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222-8477.
Map: Tinseltown, 88 West Pender