Netlore Archive: Email purportedly written by an abducted teen warns parents not to 'publicize' the whereabouts of their kids to child predators by attaching car magnets to their vehicles containing info about schools and activities
Description: Email flier
Circulating since: Nov. 2007
Email example contributed by Laura R., Feb. 12, 2008:
CAR MAGNETS....PLEASE READ!
Everyone needs to read and forward on to another friend, loved one, etc. Being a proud parent myself I was shocked! This is a story from the victim of a kidnapping.
It was just another typical day. My Mom dropped me off for cheer leading practice at my high school. After she dropped me off, she dropped my little brother Robert off at cub scouts. Her plan was to run errands while we were at o ur activities and then come back to pick me up and we were going to get our nails done.
Dad was going to pick up Robert so they could do the McDonald's thing. When she came back by to pick me up, I wasn't there. In fact, the coach told her that she hadn't seen me. Mom called Dad frantically. Dad had just stopped at cub scouts to get Robert but, was told he hadn't been there either.
It was about 9pm later that night when the police called Mom and Dad to tell them they had found us. We were both pretty bruised up and scared, I'd rather not go into details about what those guys did to us. Robert and I snuck out of the room of the hotel when one of the guys left the room to get some food. Luckily the other one had fallen asleep on the couch.
During questioning of the men, the police detective asked how they were able to get access to us. The guy said, 'They were easy prey.' 'What do you mean by easy prey?' asked the detective. 'Easy to find.' 'How's that?' asked the detective. 'A couple of weeks ago me and my partner stopped at Wal-Mart. The mom pulled up beside us with the kids in the car.. My partner took a real liking to the little boy right away. He said he sure did like the way he looked. Then the girl got out of the car and oh yeah........ I liked her, too.'
'How did you know where the kids would be today?' asked the detective. The man laughed, 'Man, their Mom's car is a kid billboard.. In like twenty seconds of them pulling up at Wal-Mart that day, me and my partner knew that Robert was a cub scout, that he attended Walkin-Reed Elementary school and that he played t-ball for the Pirates. I knew that Taylor was a cheerleader at Raven High School .'
'How did you know these things about the kids?' asked the detective. 'The magnets on their Mom's car. You know the magnets that have the kids name written on them with the activity that they do.
There was a 'Raven High School Cheerleader' magnet on the car with Taylor's name written in the middle of it. The car also had a 'Cub Scout' magnet on it with Robert's name written in the middle of it. And the car had a ' Walkin-Reed Elementary School ' bumper sticker on it. And the Pirates T-ball magnet had Robert's name written on it. Like I said, easy prey. We'd been following them for about two weeks.
We knew what time the Mom would be dropping Taylor off at cheerleading practice at Raven High School and what day Robert went to cub scouts at Walkin-Reed Elementary School . We watched him play baseball last night, the Pirates won, 4-2.'
The police detective told Dad and Mom how Robert and I became the prey of these sexual predators. He said he knew that they were proud parents of us by the car magnets but, that sexual predators use that information to gain access to kids.
'It makes kids easy targets when publicizing information about them', said the detective. Being proud of your kids is important , just make sure that when you are showing that pride that you don't give too much information about them. It is such a shame that our mementos of their childhood are being used against them but, the reality is that they are. Our goals are to protect our children, please pass this on to your friends and family, don't let your child or theirs be a victim.
Comments: Probably false. One reason to doubt the veracity of this email is that its author, purportedly a high school student abducted along with her younger brother by child predators, reveals precisely the same personal information in the body of the message that she warns parents not to reveal by attaching magnetic signs to family vehicles.
That said, it is also apparent that the names of the schools listed above were fabricated -- I could find no record of a "Walkin-Reed Elementary" or "Raven High School" in the United States -- leaving open the possibility that these names were purposely chosen to protect the victims' identities.
Or, it could be a hoax from top to bottom. One would expect that an abduction culminating in such a remarkable escape would have been reported in the news, but, again, I could find no recent articles describing a child kidnapping case that fits this profile. Nor do the details of the case, as described, hold up well under scrutiny. It is claimed that that the crime was sufficiently well planned and executed to allow the kidnapping of two different children from two separate locations, for example, yet the victims were able to effortlessly escape from the hotel room they were being held in after one abductor fell asleep and the other went out for food. Too good to be true?
It is conceivable that child predators could use the information on car magnets to stalk potential victims, but to date I have not found any police warnings or news stories confirming that such a tactic has actually been used.
Last updated: 02/12/08