Lesson on passwords may have prevented abduction of Cub Scouts
Amy Sancetta, Associated Press
OGDEN — A Cub Scout lesson on "stranger danger" may have prevented two young boys from being abducted Wednesday.
About 5:40 p.m., two 8-year-old boys were in the parking lot of an LDS Church meetinghouse, 1402 Country Hills Drive, waiting for a ride home following a Scouting activity when a man drove up next to them.
"He got out of his truck and he said to the boys, 'Your mom told me to come and get you. I'm supposed to take you home.' And the other boy said, 'No, you're not.' And he said, 'Yes, I am.' And (the boy) said, 'What's the password?'" said one of the boy's mothers.
The mother asked that her name not be used in order to protect her son's identity.
The man, she said, told the other boy he didn't have a password and pushed him to the ground. The man then approached her son and again said he was there to take him home. The second boy also asked for the password. When the man didn't know it, both boys ran to the back of the church where other Scouts and leaders were still outside, the mother said.
Police are now praising the two Cub Scouts for taking the right action.
"You gotta love the Scout program because the Scout program teaches that," said Ogden Police Lt. Danielle Croyle.
The mother of one of the boys said she and her son had just recently established a password. She said it was part of his Scouting homework to talk about "stranger danger" with his parents. The mother said the password was something she never expected would come into use.
"I did it just kind of last minute, honestly, just trying to rush through it and get the lesson done," she said. "I really believe it possibly could have saved them both.
"He said, 'Mom, he didn't know (the code).' And I said, 'I'm so glad. I'm so glad.' You just don't think that's going to happen. Passwords protect kids."
The mother said her son was mostly doing OK but "woke up in the middle of the night crying and came into my room, just afraid."
But what makes her feel a little more at ease is knowing the incident was likely random.
"I don't think he was specifically targeted. I think he was in the wrong place at the wrong time," she said.
The mother also believes "beyond a showed of a doubt," she said, "that these kids were being watched over, and I am so grateful for that."
Still, the mother said she "won't let (my son) walk to school, and I don't know if I will till they catch the guy."
Ogden police say they are also trying to spread the word around the neighborhood to be on the lookout for the man, and for parents to talk to their children about such dangers.
"We're talking to church officials in the area, and they have notified their congregation about it. They're all going to go over this kind of 'stranger danger' with people in the neighborhood," Croyle said.
The man was described as a dark-complected white or Hispanic man with short, blond, spiky hair in sort of a faux-hawk style. He was last seen driving a dark colored, late '90s Chevy pickup truck with a large scratch on the side.
Anyone with information can call police at 801-629-8477.
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