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Parents urged to talk to their children about false reports

Updated: Saturday, March 8 2014, 08:08 PM CST
Reported by Chris Papst:

HARRISBURG -- A terrifying situation in Lancaster County Thursday turned out to be a fake report, when a girl who reported an attempted abduction, apparently made it up. 

For parents, there are few things more terrifying than the thought of their child being abducted.  It’s not common, but it does happen.  And police urge parents to talk to their kids about reporting this crime. 

It was reported around 8:30 Thursday morning near Buchanan Elementary School in Lancaster.  An 11-year-old girl said a man grabbed her and tried to force her into his van.  But she was able break free and run to school. 

Before long, the police and media were alerted.  She gave a detailed description of the person and the vehicle.  The search lasted eight hours. 

Then it was called off because the attempted abduction never happened.

"When someone makes a false report of a child abduction it's obviously a big deal,” said Trooper Rob Hicks from the Pennsylvania State Police.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 258,000 children are abducted every year in the U.S., mostly by family members.  Every call that comes into police is immediately responded to and investigated, taking up a massive amount of resources, man hours and time that could be used elsewhere. 

"I think one of the most important things to grasp from this is that parents do sit down with their kids and make them aware of the severity of making a false claim, because it does has many repercussions going forward,” added Hicks.

It is illegal to make false reports to the police.  Charges in this case could be filed. 
Parents urged to talk to their children about false reports


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