Police in neighboring Winthrop are asking East Boston residents to remain vigilant after an apparent child abduction last week.
Winthrop Police Chief Terrance Delehanty said investigators would like to speak with the man being sought in connection with the alleged child abduction that occurred last Tuesday morning in the town right over the Saratoga Street Bridge from Eastie.
“Investigators are looking for the car captured on surveillance cameras in the area,” said Delehanty. “We are hoping that if this is a misunderstanding he will self identify and come in to the station and talk to us.”
However, Delehanty said some of the language used in the incident leads him to believe this is a case of child enticement.
“Hey, you baby”, is not normal adult language one would use to talk to children,” said Delehanty. “This is why we are taking this incident very seriously. While we couldn’t make out the license plate number we are looking for more cameras in the area that may have a better shot. We have also sent the incident to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children to see if there have been similar events and other cities or towns and cross reference them with the incident here (last) Tuesday.”
According to Delehanty the incident occurred Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. in the area of Winthrop High/Middle School. An elderly white male, approximately 60-year-old, with whitish/grey hair operating a 4 door silver/green car attempted to entice a middle school age boy.
According to reports, the male pointed in direction of five youths and stated “Hey Baby,come here”. One child asked if he was pointing at him and he said “no” and pointed at one of the other boys. The boy ran into his house and the driver then stated “sorry” and drove off.
Chief Delehanty would like to take this opportunity to remind parents to speak to their children regarding being approached by strangers and staying alert to these types of situations.
“While this is an unfortunate incident perhaps something positive can come out of it by reminding parents and children about stranger danger and offering safety tips,” said Delehanty. “We will be sending out our detectives to give talks to kids before the summer months are in full swing and making them aware of the dangers and to be alert.”
According to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children many abduction attempts involve a suspect driving a car; occur when a child is traveling to and from school; occur between 2 and 7 p.m.; and involve girls and children between 10 and 14-years-old.
Center for Missing and Exploited Children suggest;
- Know the routes your children take, especially to and from school. Practice walking the routes with them so you can point out places they should avoid or where they can go for help.
- Talk to your child’s school or day care facility about its pickup policy. Be clear that no one should pick up your child without your permission. Ask to be contacted immediately if someone else tries to pick up your child.
- Use role-playing scenarios to help children learn how to recognize and respond to risky situations. For example, have children practice yelling, kicking, pulling away or otherwise attracting attention when grabbed or approached by someone they do not know.
- Teach your child about the methods would- be abductors use. Have your child practice responding to the tricks by saying “no,” walking away and telling a trusted adult immediately.
- Prepare children to act when you are not with them. They should know their full names, home addresses and telephone numbers, and how to dial 911.
- Keep a child identification kit, which includes a recent color photo of your child and descriptive details such as age, height and weight.
If anyone has anyone has information on Tuesday’s incident please contact the police at 617-846-1212.