Attempted Abductions Sparks Warning For Local Kids And Parents

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Three attempted abductions throughout Southern West Virginia in the past week has officials urging students to be aware of their surroundings.

Parkersburg Police Department Captain Keith Roberts says, "there's more people out, walking and stuff than there used to be. In the wintertime, people get picked up by cars. Now people are walking to school and walking from from school so they're out and more accessible."

Parkersburg High School is in the middle of the city, and while security cameras are present, and doors are always locked, the only security off campus is looking out for one another.

"The students and staff are very very good at reporting if there's somebody around campus that shouldn't be here. From time to time we'll have a student come and say that they saw something suspicious on the way home or even a parent. We had a parent one morning a few weeks ago who said she noticed, she drops her child off at about 7 am, that there was a car that was cruising past the school and around the block," Principal, Pam Goots says.

A school bus surveillance video from Charleston, WV shows a man running across the street, almost as if he's chasing a girl. Next, the bus driver acts quickly, using his radio to scare off the man.
While this situation didn't turn out to be a possible abduction, this bus driver did what bus driver in Wood County are trained to do.

"Many of our bus drivers have been on the same route for years and are driving children, of children they had as students. They know their community. They know their route. They know when an unusual car is parked and that's why they have cell phones and radios that they can talk back to base and say, you know I just don't feel comfortable letting this student out," say Sue Woodward, Wood County Schools, Assistant Superintendent.

Even teachers are getting involved in student's safety, recognizing parents when they come to pick up their children.

"We make sure that at dismissal especially at our elementary schools that we have staff members that are out there with the students. And we match parents and students, one on one," Woodward adds.

Officials say to always call 911 if you see someone acting suspicious.

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