Attempted child abduction thwarted when girl asks stranger for code word
A 10-year-old girl thwarted an abduction attempt after asking a stranger for a code word that he did not know.
Durham police say a man approached the girl outside Applecroft Public School in Ajax, east of Toronto, on Monday around 3:30 p.m.
The man attempted to lure the girl into his vehicle, which was parked in the school parking lot, police said. A female was in the vehicle at the time.
The man told the girl her parents had sent him to pick her up.
Det. Dave Mason told CTV Toronto that the girl and her parents shared a secret code word that would be used if someone approached her telling her they were there to pick her up.
If the person was truly sent by her parents, he or she would know the code word.
“She asked this person what the code word was and obviously they got it wrong,” Mason said. “She told them ‘You got the code word wrong’ and that person left.”
As the two suspects left in the car, the girl even managed to memorize a few of the licence plate numbers and what the suspects and the car looked like. When she returned home she told her parents, who notified police.
Police are now running through a series of possible licence plate numbers and have released descriptions of the suspects and the vehicle.
The vehicle is described by police as a small, blue-grey two-door sedan with a noticeable dent on the rear bumper.
The first suspect is described as a white, adult male with a medium build. He is unshaven and was last seen wearing a grey hat, blue scarf, green jacket and red and black high-top sneakers.
The second suspect is described as a white female with long blonde hair. She was last seen wearing a purple and pink hat and is believed to be in her late teens or early 20s.
Mason said the case serves as a reminder to parents of the importance of talking with their children about personal safety.
“I think it’s important to have some sort of safety plan in place and to have that discussion with your kids,” he said.
Anyone with any information about this case is asked to contact Det. Dave Mason at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 2541, or Crime Stoppers at 1-8000-222-8477 (TIPS).