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Published: Saturday, 2/7/2004

Area officers offer tips to prevent abductions

BY RYAN E. SMITH
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Area law enforcement agents say there are some precautions that parents and their children can take to help prevent a kidnapping like the recent case involving an 11-year-old Florida girl that was captured by a surveillance camera.

That abduction ended tragically. Carlie Brucia s body was found yesterday in a church parking lot. A mechanic has been charged with her murder.

Toledo police Chief Mike Navarre said parents need to hammer home a simple message to their children: “Do not go with strangers.”

“The key is don t put themselves in a position where it can happen,” he said.

That means not walking alone and resisting vigorously if approached by a stranger who tries to grab them.

“Even though they re only 10 years old, they can still fight, they can scream, they can kick,” Chief Navarre said.

Maumee police Officer Phil Weaver said one of the key “stranger danger” lessons is that children need to keep walking no matter what a stranger says and not answer any questions. Also, he said, they should not diverge from their usual route.

Parents should keep a close eye on their children s whereabouts as well, he said.

“Don t let them roam around unsupervised all over town,” he said.

Carlie was abducted while she was walking home from a friend s house and took a shortcut behind a car wash that was closed for the day.

Lt. Dave Weaver of the Perrysburg Police Department, Officer Weaver s older brother, said it s never a good idea to go to secluded places alone.

“It may be a shortcut - maybe it wasn t even a bad neighborhood - but you re in a place where no one can see you and no one can help you,” he said.

This report includes information from the Associated Press.



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