Apparent spike in attempted child lurings has parents on edge

SEATTLE -- Nearly a dozen attempted child lurings have been reported across the region since the beginning of school. Just this week, there have been three separate cases.

Parents say they are overwhelmed.

The latest incident on Tuesday hit home for Jennifer Taylor, who received an e-mail from Whitman Middle School that a stranger in a dark blue car offered a student a ride at the corner of 85th and 23rd in the Olympic Manor neighborhood not far from the school.

“I told my daughter to fight if anyone tries to grab her -- to fight, fight,” said Taylor.

The Whitman Middle School student was not hurt and told a parent right way after running home.

“You just wonder, are people reporting it more these days? Or is it happening more?  It’s hard to decide,” said Taylor.

Retired Seattle police detective Myrle Carner believes it’s happening more.

“They are getting more bold,” said Carner.

Since May ,there have been more than a dozen attempted lurings in the Puget Sound region.

“They said no and started running,” said one mom.

The mom didn’t want to show her identity to protect her 11-year-old son and 12-year-old niece. Police say the kids escaped an attempted abduction as they were walking to Truman Middle School in Tacoma.

“The bad news is it’s happening a lot,” said Carner.

Last week, a 10-year-old girl at Hope Lutheran in West Seattle ran from a man who told her to get in his car. Then just this past Saturday, 8-year-old Neveah was walking across the playfield at Brigadoon Elementary when a stranger came up to her

“I heard a guy that said you want a candy, I screamed no and ran down the hill and tripped,”said Neveah.

The man grabbed her but the brave little girl fought back.

“The guy caught me by the waist; I started screaming, I started to scratch and bite, he let go,” said Neveah.

The suspects in all of these attempts are still out there and experts say it’s crucial for kids to speak up if it ever happens to them.

“We look at it like a puzzle, 10 pieces, maybe eight of them we know, maybe two pieces are missing, that’s your piece, please call the cops and let us know,” said Carner.

They are happening everywhere from Tacoma, Aberdeen, Marysville, Federal Way, West Seattle to now Ballard.

Parents at Whitman Middle School on Wednesday say they are not taking any chances.

“We got the email and decided to take the extra precaution to pick her up after school,”
said parent Nomi Winderbaum.

The suspects are getting more aggressive more creative when approaching kids. Experts say to tell your kids to run the other way, no matter what, anytime they see a stranger coming towards them.