Community on edge after rash of attempted child abductions

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Posted: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 5:21 pm | Updated: 5:33 pm, Wed Aug 7, 2013.

MANATEE COUNTY, FL -- In recent months a rash of attempted child abductions have gotten the attention  of law enforcement.  And with the first day of school right around the corner many worry the threats may increase.

"The driver told the child you need to come with me and even had some threatening comments," said Manatee County Sheriff Office representative Dave Bristow. 

Bristow is talking about what some believe is the latest child abduction attempt.  The incident happened Tuesday evening as an 8 year old girl played in front of her home.  The child ran to safety and informed her parents and while this situation did not end tragically Bristow says similar threats are real.

"The suspect will use a lure to get a child, whether its money, candy, there's an old lure using a puppy," said Bristow.

Back in July a man at a Manatee County library attempted to lure a child away with money. There was also the abduction and rape of a 5 year old who was drawn away with the promise of candy.  Officials from Manatee Children Services says a something a simple as a conversation could help keep your child safe.

"Parents should communicate with their children everyday about what happened at school, what happened when they're getting off the bus if they're walking home and review with them some safety procedures," said Cheryl Andrews.

Andrews says parents should also inform their children of the dangers associated with interacting with strangers because those wanting to cause harm may be closer than you think.  

"They will do their homework because they are trying to bring someone in and lure someone who is a little more suggestible so it may not be a random situation they may be casing that bus stop or that area," added Andrews.

"In addition to talking to your child officials stress the important of running through scenarios so that your child knows what to do if they are ever in a particular situation. 

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