It's a topic every parent should talk to their children about, and an issue on the minds of East Texas parents. Monday, we told you about a 4 year old girl who's mother says was almost abducted by a suspicious man in a Tyler Wal mart over the weekend.
More than 2,100 children are reported missing everyday. Around 58,000 of those are non-family abductions. Jim Lightfoot of White Oak is on the Board of Directors for the National Center of Missing and Exploited children, and says abductions happen anywhere and at anytime.
"They are always looking for targets of opportunity and maybe this is a crude metaphor, but its almost like animals in the wild when they hunt a heard they look for the weakest one and try to take it out," said Jim Lightfoot of National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. "These people are professionals at spotting a child, who is a likely suspect to go with them." That's why Lightfoot says it's so important for every child to know how to prevent an abduction. He suggests these safety rules for children . One, check first before doing anything. Second, take a friend when you go places. Third, tell someone no if they try to do something that makes you uncomfortable, and last, tell a parent or guardian when something happens.
"Just like the little girl at Wal mart, " said Lightfoot. "Scream kick and holler."
"I hit him, and then he said never mind because he saw my aunt, and then we told my aunt," said Elizabeth Alfaro, who helped save sister from abduction. Officer James McCraw teaches Stranger Danger Awareness classes to children as young as three and four years old. He says the class focuses on not so much what a stranger looks like, but how they act.
"Some of the common tricks are they lost a dog and they want you to help them find a dog, or maybe they have some candy.," said Officer James McCraw, Tyler Police Department." With many area schools on Spring Break, police also want to remind children who may be home alone not to answer the door without checking who it is, and when answering the phone don't tell the caller no adult is home.
Police say they don't want parents and children living in fear, but it's information every child needs to know.