Police Use Tests To Teach Kids Stranger Dangers

Since January, there have been four attempted abductions in the Poway area.

All the children in those cases were able to run away, but what would your child do if he or she was confronted by a stranger?

10News went undercover with the National City Police Department and put several local children to the test.

It's a fear that is rarely a reality, but authorities said stranger abductions can happen.

"They happen infrequently," said Officer Javier Cornejo of the National City Police Department.

When they do happen, they happen fast, authorities said.

With the help of Cornejo, 10News put several local children to the test.

One idea was to try and lure kids with a leash

"They should immediately walk away ...," said Cornejo.

In order to not give it away so the kids have no idea what's going on, 10News hid its cameras in the back of a nearby minivan.

Armed with a lost puppy poster, a leash and approval from parents, Cornejo approached a group of boys playing.

"You guys want to help me find him?" asked Cornejo.

Two out of the three boys hesitated, and then backed off.

With a little more coaxing, 6-year-old Edgar gave in.

Cornejo used the same approach, this time with girls.

"He's about this small; his name is Pugbsy because he's a pug," Cornejo said to the girls.

With no hesitation, the girls eagerly agreed to help and quickly followed.

In each case, the test never goes too far.

"OK, stop right there. I'm a police officer," Cornejo told the children.

The drill is explained to the children.

"Why did you go with me?" asked Cornejo.

One girl replied, "To help find your dog."

Daniel, 5, walked away when approached by Cornejo. When asked if he believed Cornejo was looking for a dog, Daniel said, "No."

The other boy, Axle, walked away, too.

One mother and sister were proud of 7-year-old Melinda, who ran to her mother's car when approached by Cornejo.

Sarah Snow and her father predicted Haley and Iana would go with Cornejo. When approached, Iana jumped at the chance.

The good thing was Iana's big sister was skeptical, and grabbed Iana and ran away.

"My mom told me not to talk to strangers, because they can kidnap you," said Haley.

It is a lesson authorities are hopeful these kids will learn and never forget.

Police said one way to teach your children about how to handle strangers is to role-play with them.