A Word From the Sheriff in Reference to the Attempted Child Abuduction

In response to inquiries of an attempted child abduction, the Queen Anne’s County Office of the Sheriff has investigated the following incidents.

On Saturday, September 10, 2010 at approx. 830 am a teenage boy was running home on Castle Marina Rd., Chester, Md. and was approached by a black SUV driven by an individual that he was familiar with. The subject offered him a ride home, and the boy declined the invitation. The vehicle drove off. The boy told his mother who reported the incident to the Sheriff’s Office. The mother was also familiar with the individual driving the vehicle as well and was not concerned that he offered the ride but felt that she should notify someone.

On Sunday night, September 11, 2011, Centreville Police responded to a similar incident near the Wharf Area. Their information revealed a call as a stalking or possible abduction attempt, their preliminary investigation revealed there was no attempted abduction, however the incident was suspicious in nature.

On Monday, September 12, 2011 at approx. 615 pm a blue truck was reported to be driving around the Kent Island Estates neighborhood. The vehicle stopped at a stop sign and motioned a juvenile across the road to cross. The occupants of the vehicle never made contact with the child but the complainant found the occupants to be suspicious because they were not from the area and had been driving around the neighborhood.

The Office of the Sheriff encourages all community members to report suspicious activity involving vehicles, persons, or incidents within our community to local law enforcement. It is important that we teach our children about stranger danger to limit contact with people that they may not know. Below are some tips to teach your children or talk with them about.

“Although these recent events were not abductions it is important that we teach children to be aware of their surroundings and we appreciate the children bringing this to their parent’s attention.” added Sheriff Gary Hofmann.

Walk with a buddy, try not to walk anywhere alone
Tell parents where you’re going
Don’t take shortcuts through a secluded areas
Bad people do not always look mean or scary
Do not get close to strangers.
Do not tell your name or address to a stranger.
Never go with a stranger to look for a lost pet
Never get into a car with anyone you don’t know
Never enter someone’s home or place of business without a parent.
If a stranger bothers you, run away.
Know safe places you can go (such as Police or Fire Stations).
If a stranger follows you or grabs for you, yell loud and make as much noise as you can.
If anyone touches you in a bad way, say “NO!” and tell an adult
Tell your parents about places you don’t feel safe.
Talk with your parents and come up with a secret code word.
If you have to ask for help from a stranger, if possible seek help from a police officer or teacher.
Call 911 to report a stranger.
Never open the door to a stranger.
Never tell anyone on the phone you are home alone.

“It’s important as parents, that we educate our children, make them aware of their surroundings, and teach them what to do when they feel they may be threatened. As well as, making sure they remain calm in a situation while noticing a person’s description, and vehicle and reporting this to law enforcement as soon as possible.”

“The Office of the Sheriff encourages parents who know children to not stop and ask kids for a ride, or scare children by following them, unless the child clearly knows you and permission from the parents has been given. This arrangement should be done in advance, not while the child is walking.” added Sheriff Gary Hofmann.