For the second time in less than a week, a man tried to abduct a teenage girl on her way to the bus stop, according to news releases from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.
Two different men and two different girls were involved. One of the would-be abductors had a gun.
Are you moving yet?
The first girl targeted was a 15-year-old on her way to the bus stop around Camino de Oeste and Ivory Rose around 8:15 a.m. on Jan. 19.
The guy got out of his white Ford Ranger pickup, complete with dark tinted windows, pointed the gun at the girl and demanded she come with him.
The Jan. 19 suspect is described as a Caucasian male, early to mid-40s, thin build, approximately 6’0” tall with dark brown hair wearing a dark blue pullover hoodie, light blue jeans and brown hiking boots. He was armed with a black and silver handgun.
The second girl* was a 12-year-old heading to the bus stop near Romero and Wetmore roads around 7:50 a.m. on Jan. 25.
This guy grabbed the girl around the waist from behind but she pulled away and ran to the nearest Circle K and called 911.
The Jan. 25 suspect is described as a light colored skin male with a thin build. He was between 20 to 30 years old and between 5’7” to 6’0” tall. He was wearing black sweat pants, which appeared to be dirty and worn, and a black sweatshirt with the hood pulled tightly around his face. He was also wearing black shoes.
Maybe folks should drive their kids to school for a while.
Both girls, thankfully, did the right thing. They ran. They called for help. They reported it to authorities. They got home safe.
Running, kicking, screaming, struggling and calling any attention to the situation is the way to go. Never go quietly into that dark car.
Kids should also know the target areas that can really hurt a person, such as their eyeballs, knees and, of course, the groin area.
While the guys attempting these abductions used a deadly weapon and physical force, respectively, the Tucson Police Department points out some other tactics abductors may use.
Like asking the kid to come with them to help them find a lost puppy. They may also bribe the kid with money – or that infamous candy from strangers – or tell the child his parents and have been in an accident of some sort and hurry, come with me.
Parents should also pay attention to what their kids are wearing every day and keep current photos, just in case.
Never put the kid’s name on the outside of his clothes – that’s just begging for a stranger to pretend he knows the child. The same caution should be used for your pets. Never outfit your dog with a collar that has his name blazoned across it in neon.
“Come here, Leo, Leo.”
Police also suggest getting your kid fingerprinted, making sure he knows your phone number and how to make a collect call, and your address.
The buddy system works – abductors don’t particularly care for kids traveling in pairs – as does having neighbors keep watch and telling the school to call you if your kid doesn’t get there one day.
Make sure the route to the bus stop does not include alleyways or other potentially dangerous areas.
Don’t worry about frightening your child by sharing such info, the situation would be a lot scarier if he or she were not prepared.
Too bad the biggest fear about going to school may be way more intense than simply forgetting to do the homework.
For more info on Tucson police child abduction prevention click HERE.
The 12-year-old girl who claimed she was nearly abducted on Jan. 25 was lying about the incident, according to an e-mail from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.”The case has been closed.”
What precautions do you take to make sure your kids are safe?
Have you ever run into similar situations?
What did you do?
What about kids carrying weapons? Should they be allowed to?