Tips to Avoid: Child Abductions

Child Abductions:

· First, a kidnapper is going to look for an easy target. A neighborhood with kids about, no adults in view or a child who walks up to his car when asked something. What’s easier? He simply has to reach out and grab a child, pull them in a car, and disappear forever. Now the same kidnapper comes in your neighborhood, good, kids running about. But what’s this, a few adults sitting out front, reading, washing a car, playing with kids, Oh No, they are looking at him. Better get out of here before they get a good look at him. As he drives out, he sees a lone child walking around the corner. AHH might as well try this kid. The kidnapper asks the kid for directions. The kid sees the kidnapper is a stranger and ignores him. The kidnapper pulls the car to the curb and stops, calls to the child again and opens the door. The child yells for help and runs. The kidnapper wants NO attention brought to him so he quickly leaves for easier targets. No kidnapping suspect wants attention that can identify him or her. Teach your children to avoid strangers, and to scream or yell for help if they feel threatened. Keep an eye on your kids when they play. A yard is great, but alot of kids want to play "out front". Maybe neighbors can all keep an eye out, or take turns watching the kids. If an abductor sees even one adult in view of his intended target, chances are he will pass up that child.

· Tell all the neighborhood kids to promptly tell a parent, neighbor, baby-sitter, etc. of any suspicious persons or cars in the area. People who are not familiar to the area, starting up conversations with children, asking kids for help looking for lost pets, offering toys or candy, all should be warning signs. If your children do not know a person, they should avoid conversations or close contact with strangers when you are not with them.

· If you see a strange car cruising through the neighborhood, jot down the license plate and description of the car and driver. It may be nothing. But then again, that may be the bit of information needed to get a child back alive and unharmed.

· Teach your children self defense moves or strikes to free themselves from an attacker if grabbed. Kick, hit, bite, punch, scream, anything and everything to get away.

· Remember what your child is wearing when they go outside. It helps a lot during a search to look for particular clothing worn by your child rather than just a physical description. Tell your children the importance of letting you know when they leave, change friends houses, or even come home. You should know every moment where your child is. A little leeway can be given for older teens, but the same rules apply, since older kids can be kidnapped too. Kidnappings occur from babies taken from a hospital, up to adults taken by force or with a weapon.

· Don’t let hours slip by if you cant find your child, especially a small child. Time is critical. After an initial search, call the police. We would rather get canceled half way to your house when you find your child, than to respond 3 hours later wishing we got the call hours earlier when it was still light. Think about how far someone can travel in 3 hours. Even on foot! Now a car!

· Have a recent photo of your child. Alot of city functions offer child fingerprinting and photographing, I have even seen companies donate equipment to videotape your child. You don’t want to search for a photo at a critical time, then to only find one from 2 yrs. ago.

· Remember if the dispatcher ask alot of questions on the phone, it’s to relay the information to officers arriving in the area to begin a search. The more information we have, the quicker we get it, the better chance we have of bringing your child home safe.

The more information you have, the more information you give your children, the better chance we all have of keeping our children safe.

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