3 Child Kidnapping Attempts In Twin Cities In The Last Week
Police are investigating several child abduction attempts in the last few days in different communities around the Twin Cities metro area. KSTP reports that they took place in Fridley, Mounds View, and Inver Grove Heights.
The first happened in Fridley, where a man tried to pull a 7 year old girl into his car. The child was able to break away and flee to safety. Yesterday a suspect was arrested in that case, identified as 28 year old Aaron Johnson of Coon Rapids.
Monday in Mounds View, a 10 year old boy was rollerblading when a male in a white van pulled over. He told the boy that his mother told him to pick him up. The boy didn't believe him and ran away. The suspect is described as an older man with short gray hair, about 5 foot 5, and wearing shorts and a t-shirt. If you have any information on this, contact the police at 763-717-4070.
Then, in Inver Grove Heights a brown van with stripes and green curtains asked pulled over to ask two girls ages 10 and 12 if they knew "G" and to get into the van. When they refused, the man told them to get in the van. They got spooked and ran off. Police are investigating and are not clear if this was an abduction or a language barrier issue since the man was Hispanic.
In all of these cases, the children are safe because they knew to do the right thing. This was a good reminder to make sure I discuss with my children "stranger danger." Make sure they don't ever get into someone else's car. Make sure children know not to go into a strangers house if invited. As in one of the cases, another thing to teach your children is to not trust an adult when they say their parents told them to pick them up.
Take a moment tonight to have a discussion with your kids. As an adult, if you see something suspicious in public, step up and say something. It's better be wrong if you misunderstand a situation than to regret not preventing a tragedy.