JANESVILLE (WKOW) --A case of alleged child enticement in Rock County can serve as a warning and reminder to parents.
A 13-year old girl reported being approached by a suspicious man Sunday afternoon who asked her to get into his van, Janesville police said in a news release. The incident happened on East Milwaukee Street.
Brent Reilly, a detective with the Rock County Sheriff's Department, said child abductions are rare. Reilly said abductions and enticements are "crimes of opportunity" in which a perpetrator seeks to take advantage of a child.
"Have your kids always travel with a friend," Reilly said. "A perpetrator will be a lot less likely to approach someone if they have someone with them."
Reilly said those seeking to abduct a child will often attempt to get him or her into a vehicle by promising "candy or a puppy."
He also said parents should be wary of letting children play outside in shirts displaying their names or nicknames on them - such as shirts used for athletics.
"When they are wearing those things, that gives the perpetrator that information," Reilly said.
"So when they do approach (a child) ... it may seem to your child that, 'this person knows me because they're calling me by my name,'" Reilly said.
Reilly said any child who is approached by someone that appears to have bad intentions should yell and try to make a scene. He said abductors are often deterred by a scene drawing public attention.
Reilly said the child should then get to a public place, "like a convenience store," where he or she can report what happened and call police.
He said older children, like teenagers, should carry cell phones and store them in an accessible spot so the phones would be available in the event of an emergency.
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