Woman allegedly tried to kidnap boy at Toys 'R' Us Shop!
Police are investigating an alleged kidnapping attempt, after a childcare centre warned about it in their letter. The incident happened at Toys 'R' Us!
Police are investigating an alleged kidnapping attempt incident apparently happened at Toys ‘R’ Us.
You might have already seen this letter from Josiah childcare centre circulating on social media and WhatsApp.
The letter is dated 21 November, and is signed by the Vice Principal of the centre.
It says, “There was an incident that took place at Toys ‘R’ Us store this evening involving a Josiah child and a suspicious person.”
Apparently, after school that day, the child (who is in K1), and his father had gone to Toys ‘R’ Us. There, a lady in her mid-40s, who had short length hair (and seemed to be local), approached them and claimed that the boy was her son.
She ran away when she realised that the child’s father was near him.
She returned again, and tried to lure the child using toys. The boy’s father confronted her and asked her to stay away.
The child’s parents have lodged a police report, and requested Toys ‘R’ Us for video footage of the lady, so that the mall can be alerted about her.
The letter also warns parents to be extra-cautious this festive season as the malls are going to be really crowded.
“It is important to always have your child in sight, and reiterate to children about stranger danger.”
According to The Straits Times, police are now investigating the case, and the boy’s parents and the childcare centre are assisting them.
Police have assured that that they treat such incidents seriously. They have urged members of the public not to speculate or spread unsubstantiated information which may generate unnecessary public alarm.
Teaching Children About Stranger Danger
Here are some tips to empower our children against stranger danger:
Teach children the difference between ‘good’ strangers and ‘bad’ strangers
This is the trickiest part. Unfortunately, ‘bad’ people may not ‘look’ evil; nothing like the villains you see in the movies and cartoons.
People with bad intentions can pretend to be nice and friendly as well. So do advise your kids never to walk off or get into houses and vehicles with people they don’t know.
Also, teach your kids about ‘safe’ strangers. These are the people the child can approach for help, in times of crisis. They include policemen and perhaps, mummies with kids?
Do not respond to strangers
If strangers ask questions, it is best to ignore them and walk away. Inform a trusted adult as soon as possible.
Children should avoid secluded places when going to or coming back from school
They should also be alert and vigilant at all times.
A confident attitude will put off many criminals who mostly prey on confused, lost or distracted children. Body language is a good indicator of a child’s personality, and inattentive people usually make easy targets.
Don’t fall for some common tricks.
Trick #1: The stranger may pretend to be from the Police.
The child should ask for the Police Officer’s Warrant Card to verify his identity before obeying his instructions.
Trick #2: The stranger may ask for the child’s help
The stranger could ask for directions, or pretend to need help with carrying his groceries. Children should be suspicious of any stranger who asks for their help.
Truth is, when adults really need help, they usually turn to other adults and not kids.
Trick #3: The stranger tries to bribes the child with gifts and promises
It could be a promise to buy ice cream. Or it could be toys (like in this case) or other gifts.
A person with dubious intentions usually resorts to such methods to convince the child that he is a friend and a good person. His/her hidden agenda might be to persuade the child to go somewhere alone with him.
Trick #4: “Your mummy is in hospital, come with me”
One of the most commonly cooked up stories is about an emergency at home. An imposter-abductor might claim that one of the parents has met with an accident and the child needs to go to the hospital with him.
Or it could be “your mummy sent me to pick you up.” Small children should be taught to never believe such lies.
Some parents teach their kids an “emergency password”, which they can use in case they really need to pass a message to their children.
So if a stranger accosts them with such stories, the kids can ask for the “password”. If the person does not know it, the child should get away from him as soon as possible.