East Valley police fighting back against 'Stranger Danger'

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by Marie Saavedra, 3TV

azfamily.com

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 6:22 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 18 at 9:20 AM

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- After yet another attempted abduction in Chandler this week, we wanted to know what police are doing to protect kids.

Chandler police say they're focusing on finding the man behind the most aggressive cases, where kids have been grabbed, and they gave similar descriptions. It's the most solid lead investigators have. Beyond that, they want kids to keep doing what they're doing, and follow their gut instincts.

Cases of stranger danger seem to keep coming for the Chandler Police Department. It started with two cases of a man grabbing kids coming from Hartford Elementary.

"Those involve a Hispanic male exiting an alley," said Chandler police Detective Seth Tyler. "He's essentially attacking a child, or attempting to attack a child."

As recently as Wednesday someone asked two young brothers walking home from Tarwater Elementary School if they needed a ride. They said no and ran.

"In the incidents that were reported, all the children did that. They did the same thing. They got out of the situation," Tyler said.

Police say those instincts, and the know-how, are keeping kids safe. But is it fighting the problem? Wednesday in Mesa, an 8-year-old girl and her friend were on the playground when they found themselves in trouble. 

"She saw a car that looked like a friend's car. She was going to go to the car, then two men got out of the car and started chasing them," said the girl's mother, Melissa Pervis.

Her daughter and friend ran to safety at a neighbor's house. It may be the last time she lets her out alone.

Police say it's a matter of vigilance and communication. Use this time to make sure your child knows what to do when a stranger approaches.
 

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