Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Another attempted abduction report in Spotsy

Here’s the latest SpotsyAlert which went out at 10:30 p.m.:

The Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a report of criminal activity that occurred today at approximately 4:20 PM in the area of Satterfield Ct. An 8 year old female reports that she was approached by a hispanic male who attempted to get her in a vehicle. The vehicle was described as a black Econoline van, possibly spray painted black with the word “MALLORY” on the side in red lettering. The child fled on foot and it was later reported to the Sheriff’s Office. If you have any information about this incident or the vehicle, you are asked to contact the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office at 540/582-7115 or Crime Solvers at 540/582-5822.

The sheriff’s office also sent out recorded calls to nearby county homes at 10:15 p.m. According to the alert and the call, the criminal activity occurred in the Chancellor Gardens subdivision, which is within 5 miles of the three earlier abduction attempts–in Ashleigh Park, Salem Fields and Governor’s Green. There was also a reported abduction attempt in Stafford County last week.

Click here, here, here, here and here for stories about the earlier attempts. So far, police have not announced a connection between the tries.

I wanted to add a few safety tips here. All of the Spotsylvania attempts have been disconcertingly close to my house–the latest one really, really close. So close that I just woke my son up to go over the same safety advice I’ve now given him five times. So I decided to look around the web and see if there are any other tips I should give. I already ran these on the blog, but they refer mostly to bus stops and this one was on a Saturday afternoon. So here are a few more safety tips:

  • Teach your children to always TAKE A FRIEND with them when walking or biking, and stay with a group while standing at the bus stop.
  • Walk the route to and from school with your children pointing out landmarks and safe places to go if they’re being followed or need help. Teach your

    children they should NEVER TAKE SHORTCUTS and always stay in well-lit areas.

  • Teach your children that if anyone bothers them, makes them feel scared or uncomfortable to trust their feelings and immediately get away from that

    person.  Teach them it is ok not to be polite and IT IS OK TO SAY NO.

  • Teach your children if anyone tries to take them somewhere they should RESIST by kicking and screaming, try to run away and DRAW ATTENTION by kicking and screaming “This person is trying to take me away” or “This person is not my father/mother.”
  • Teach your children NOT TO ACCEPT A RIDE from anyone unless you have said it is ok in that instance.  If anyone follows them in a vehicle

    they should turn around, go in the other direction, and run to a trusted adult who may help them.

  • Teach your children that grownups should NOT ASK CHILDREN FOR DIRECTIONS, they should ask other adults.
  • Instruct your child to make every effort to escape by walking, running, or pulling away; yelling; kicking; attracting attention; and/or otherwise resisting.
  • Talk openly to your children about safety and encourage them to tell you or another trusted adult if anyone or anything makes them feel sad,

    scared, or confused.

  • Practice basic-safety skills with your children by creating “teachable moments” to make sure they understand the safety messages and are

    able to use them in real-life situations. Help your children identify trusted adults who may be able to help them if they need assistance. If an incident

    occurs in your community and your children ask you about it, speak frankly but with reassurance.

These tips come from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.