It’s a scenario no parent wants to imagine: the thought that people with devious intentions are out lurking in public, looking for a child who is an easy target to snatch away.
As parents or grandparents, we want to push away the thought that child trafficking would happen at our local shopping centers. It seems to always be a tragedy that occurs somewhere in oblivion — not our own backyard.
In March 2017, a mother from Texas was shopping at Target with her 2-year-old daughter when she heard the most bone-chilling phrase come out of a stranger’s mouth: “Say bye to Mommy!”
The mother firmly believed that the man and woman standing innocently at the check-out line, who she described as “normal and friendly” at first, were intent on kidnapping her toddler.
Luckily, the mother was able to intervene before any evil came her daughter’s way.
But sometimes, parents get distracted. And even though a child is strapped into the grocery cart, parents have to split their focus between supervising their child and adding items to a cart.
Predators know that parents can’t be everywhere at all times, and rely on distracted parents to provide that window of opportunity necessary to approach a child.
On Sept. 24, a loss prevention officer at a Walmart in Fort Worth, Texas, stopped what is believed to be a possible kidnapping incident, The Star-Telegram reported.
According to a report from police officer Tracy Carter, a man and a woman were spotted trying to take a 4-year-old girl out of the shopping cart.
When the loss prevention officer confronted the couple, the pair left the store and drove away in a red SUV.
The child was not injured, and police are still investigating the incident.
While broaching the subject of kidnapping with young kids is certainly unpleasant, parents can and need to teach young children to defend themselves in a situation where someone is trying to kidnap them.
Even the most vigilant of parents simply cannot be attentive to a child 100 percent of the time.
Teach your child to scream, yell, kick, or put up any kind of fight if someone is trying to take them. An informed child is a less vulnerable child.
Kudos to this loss prevention officer for being the extra set of eyes that this parent desperately needed while running errands with small children.
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