‘Helpful’ stranger picks up 3-year-old at grocery store
A Gardnerville Ranchos man reported Saturday that a stranger picked up his young daughter as the father was securing another child in an grocery cart infant seat.
The man said he turned around and the stranger was holding his 3-year-old. He said the man handed his daughter to him as though he was “trying to help” even though the father didn’t know him or ask for his assistance.
He said his daughter had been standing at his side as he put the younger child in the cart.
He said he took his daughter from the stranger who disappeared in the Gardnerville grocery store and he didn’t see him again.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Halsey said it didn’t appear to be an attempted abduction but it was clearly inappropriate for a stranger to pick up a child.
In public, Halsey said parents should try to keep their children in front of them at all times.
“Parents should teach their kids at an early age – as soon as they can walk and talk and understand – that if someone they don’t know grabs them or tries to touch them, they should yell loudly to get the attention of people around them,” Halsey said.
If someone does grab them, Halsey said children need to be taught it’s OK to kick, punch, bite, scratch and scream.
“Abductors are hoping their victims are overcome with fear and unable to fight back, giving the offender the advantage. Few abductors are ready for a violent counter attack,” he said.
He said any such incidents should be reported immediately to the sheriff’s office.