A 12-year-old girl who was targeted by a stranger used the popular “password” technique to avoid being abducted, officials said.
Some parents tell their children a secret “password” that they are to use when being approached by a stranger. If the person knows the password they were told by the parents they are deemed safe. If not, they are shunned.
The girl was walking to her bus stop on the morning of May 29 in Macomb Township when a vehicle approached her.
The man at the wheel told the girl to “get in the car,” according to a Macomb County Sheriff’s Office press release sent to news outlets. The girl responded by asking the man for the “password.” He said he didn’t know.
— The Macomb Daily (@macombdaily) May 29, 2019
The girl and her mother arranged to use a “password” if her mother ever needed to have someone else pick the girl up, officials said.
The girl ran away and reached the bus, telling the school resource officer when the bus arrived at the school.
The vehicle was described as a newer black Chevy 4-door sedan with tinted windows while the driver was described as a white male in his 20s with dark hair.
Macomb County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Renee Yax told the Macomb Daily that she supports parents and children having passwords.
Driver tells 12-year-old girl to ‘get in the car’ in Macomb Township https://t.co/YfKqsdGwdb
— Local 4 WDIV Detroit (@Local4News) May 29, 2019
“That’s actually a great idea,” Yax said.
The girl was not hurt and didn’t make physical contact with the driver, Yax added. Another student saw what happened and also spoke to the officer.
Officials with the Chippewa Valley School District said they were made aware of the incident and sent out a “stranger danger” alert to parents, reported WDIV.
“The safety of your child is always our top priority,” the alert said, in part. “As the warm weather approaches, we ask that you join us in our safety efforts by reminding your child about the dangers of talking to strangers.”
Girl Uses Code Word
A girl in Arizona used a code word to avoid being kidnapped last year.
The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said that the incident happened on Nov. 7, 2018. An 11-year-old girl was walking with a friend near a park, when a man driving a white SUV pulled up next to them, the office said.
The man told the girl that her brothers were in a serious accident and she needed to go with him. The child asked the man what the “code word” was, but he did not know it and drove off.
“Kudos to the parents of this child for having a code word and talking about to their children about stranger danger,” said Sheriff Mark Lamb. “We hope by putting this out, it will encourage parents to have that conversation and create a plan with their children, so they know what to do if they are in that situation.”
Brenda James, the mother of the girl, said that her daughter might have died if she had gotten into the car.
“We came up with a code word, and this one time, it saved my daughter’s life,” she told Fox 10. “She told me that a guy tried to take her.”
“I never thought it would be used, but I’m proud of her for remembering that and knowing to use that,” said James.