Alert to Residents

On May 26, 2012 at approximately 1:45 p.m. a suspicious vehicle was seen in an alley near 49th Street W. between Penn and Queen Avenues A faded red, older model sedan, possible a Honda Accord or similar pulled up next to an 11 year old female who was taking a walk. The driver of the vehicle, a white male, approximately 25-30 years old, scarring or pockmarks on face, with a brown crew cut, medium build wearing a brown t-shirt asked the girl if she wanted a ride. She said no and walked away.

The area was checked but officers were unable to locate the vehicle or suspect.

The following are some tips for parents when talking to their children regarding strangers:

1. Teach your child(ren) your address and phone number, including the area code. Instruct your child(ren) on how to use the telephone to call home, and in an emergency, 911.

2. Keep an updated file on your child, including a photograph and physical description. If your child is under two years of age, you should update the information at least four times each year.

3. Pay close attention to the clothing your child is wearing each day and never display your child's name on his/or clothes or books. Children will often respond to strangers who call them by name.

4. Make sure your child knows what to do should you become separated in a public place. Your child should immediately make a report to a facility employee and should not attempt to search for you.

5. Select a secret code word that only you and your child know. Tell your child never to go with anyone who does not know this code.

6. Keep a set of your child's footprints, fingerprints and dental records.

7. Leave instructions with your child's school to notify you immediately if he/she is absent and provide them with written information on which people are authorized to pick your child up after school.

8. Educate your children on the many tactics used by abductors to lure them away. Teach them to immediately leave the area if a stranger is present. If your child is grabbed, instruct your child to yell "fire" (or "stranger") People are more likely to respond to those shouts than to cries of "help."

9. Survey the recreation and school routes your child uses. Point out any dangerous areas such as vacant lots, alleyways, busy streets, etc. Teach your child what to do should he/she be followed.

10. Join or organize a "safe home" program with your neighbors to establish secure homes where your children can go for help.