Hello. This is Dave Young with an important story I’d like to share with you.

About 8pm on a Wednesday night, I was sitting in my car in the parking lot waiting for my adult son to return from inside the store when I noticed two girls about 11-13 years old standing by the front door.

The ploy

As other children around their age walked out of the store, the two girls would hand them a piece of candy and talk to them for a few seconds. Then, when their parent or adult showed up a man standing by his car parked next to the entrance of the store would call the two girls’ names (changing their names each time) and the girls would stop talking to the child and run back to the man.

The Potential Victim

After watching for a few more minutes, I noticed a small boy about 8 years of age walk out of the store alone. As the two young girls approached him they handed him a piece of candy. The boy took the candy and started to laugh and play with the girls; no adult walked outside with the boy and the man called out to the girls who grabbed the boy by the hand and continued to play and laugh and started to walk over to the car with the boy in hand.

The one thing that raced through my mind was, “Where in the *&^%$! are the kids parents?” I got out of my car and yelled to the man, “Hey, are you that boy’s dad?”

Just then the boys mom walked outside pushing two carts, one in front and the other in back. The girls let go of the boy’s hand who ran smiling to his mom, while the girls got in the car with the man and drove away. Everything happened within 5 seconds or less. I was too far for a tag but the car was a new Chevy Impala.

The Lesson

Remember parents, you’re taking the most precious treasures you have to the store with you and there are others shopping for those treasures. DO NOT LET them take your precious treasure away from you!

When you go shopping with your children, do you make sure they stay close by? Do they know what to do if a stranger approaches them?