Recent kidnapping attempt in Toledo should be a lesson

Ron Craig, Crime Prevention/Community Policing Officer

        The recent incident at a Toledo Mud Hens game, in which a female tried to kidnap a baby in a stroller, should be a lesson to all of us.
        While the kidnapper did not get away with the child, things could easily have ended tragically.
        There were most likely plenty of distractions as this incident occurred, which may have contributed to the attempted abduction.
        It’s a stark reminder – no matter how old children are, they can quickly disappear, either because they walk away or have been abducted.
        Here are some things for parents, grandparents and caregivers to remember:
        If children are old enough to to remember a phone number, teach them a parent’s cell phone number so they can provide it to authorities in case of an emergency.
        Teach your children to seek help, preferably from a police officer or trusted adult in an emergency.
        Make sure kids who are old enough to walk hold your hand any time you are out in public.
        If they become lost in a retail establishment, tell kids to seek help from a store employee.
        Tell kids that if someone tries to grab or abduct them, they should yell loudly that the person trying to take them is not their mom or dad. That should alert someone to call 9-1-1.
        While we teach kids about “stranger danger,” many abductions are carried out by someone who is known to the child and/or the parents. Some of these cases involve a perpetrator who has mental issues.
        Parents should have a recent photo of their children to give to law enforcement personnel in cases in which a child is abducted. Parents should also keep a recent audio clip of the child’s voice. This can be very helpful in cases of abduction because an abductor can easily change the looks of a child by coloring and/or cutting the child’s hair, but they cannot change the child’s voice.
        Make sure you obtain a child ID kit that includes a DNA sample. A DNA sample can be obtained using a lock of hair with the root attached. These kits are available free of charge through various sources.
        This article is a public service from the Community Policing/Crime Prevention Division of the Lake Township Police Department. Township residents may obtain further information on crime prevention and public safety topics by contacting Ron Craig, crime prevention specialist/community policing officer, at 419-481-6354.


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