“My Toddler Was Almost Sex-Trafficked from the Grocery with Me Standing There.” Oh Really?

This story comes from a reader named Jennifer who wrote:

So I am in 3 separate mommy groups and each of them in the past few days has posted this OMG! alert: http://faithit.com/mom-amanda-cropsey-florczykowski-warns-sex-trafficking/
Jennifer’s plea: Stop this insanity from gaining credibility!
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I’m trying. Here’s the viral post:

My name is Amanda and I’m a Longview, Texas resident. I’m convinced that our two-year-old daughter was the victim of a potential sex-trafficking scam yesterday.

I got in the check-out line at a local store early afternoon. I took my daughter out of the cart and the couple ahead struck up the typical conversation about how “cute your daughter is” and then asked about her age, repeatedly. I initially was understanding of what I assumed was a cultural barrier, but I quickly became uncomfortable with the woman’s body language and close proximity to my cart/kids. I picked my daughter up only to have the woman ask if she could hold her. The woman was so close at this point that my toddler reached her arms around the woman before I could really respond. In an instant her proximity finally changed and she backed away. I grabbed back on to my daughter as the woman was saying, “Say bye to mommy”—what an unusual comment to provoke a child to say. The woman resisted returning her when I physically pulled my daughter from her arms.

Know their conversation began immediately with me and this all took place over only a few moments. After this couple left, I was really shaken up but still noticed the man a few feet away in my peripheral vision, continuing to stand, by himself, with no groceries, in a closed check-out lane. He faced the opposite direction, but was looking over his shoulder at me; glaring would be an understatement. His eyes did not leave my every move and I confidently matched his stare to show I was aware of his presence. I loudly conversed with the cashier about their security staff and the odd couple that seemed predatory.

I’m thankful to Jesus that He alone protected us! I was able to get out and home safely with my family.

I’ve since researched sex-trafficking and some details were precisely my experience. I want to recount those specifics to create awareness in hopes that you can protect your own children.

She goes on to list all sorts of things like, “The woman checked out with two items of little value [that] she could easily abandon.” As if not having a cartload of groceries is so unusual as to be frightening. Then she concludes:

Please SHARE this with your friends to raise awareness about this critical issue that is happening right under our noses. Together, we can END IT.

The idea that a child  would be plucked FROM ITS MOM in PUBLIC by THREE PEOPLE, all in cohoots, is almost beyond the plot of a Liam Neeson movie.

But you don’t have to listen to me deconstruct this scenario. I sent the piece to David Finkelhor, director of the  Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, a scholarly organization solely devoted to the study and prevention of just such crimes. He wrote:

If you look at the victimization dangers for 2-year-old kids, the overwhelming, overwhelming perpetrator category — for abduction, sexual abuse, homicide and sex trafficking (very rare for that age) — is their caregivers. Fathers, mothers, uncles, grandparents, day care operators and baby sitters.

Stranger abduction of children so young is minuscule, maybe under half a dozen a year.

When they do occur, the motive is more likely to be wanting to have a child to raise, ransom or wanting to retaliate against someone for some offense (e.g a drug dealer who wants to extract money from a client), not sex trafficking.

Moreover, child abduction rarely occurs in a crowded public venue like that, where help would be easy to muster.  Most sex trafficking lures and abductions are of teenagers.

It’s hard to say what was going on in this interaction with foreign looking people, and maybe something sinister was afoot, but this mom makes a lot of strong assumptions.  It does illustrate how immigration and diversity can so easily escalate to unease.   Parents should spend their worry time on other perils.

Perils like what a steady diet of Facebook hysteria is doing to their nerves. – L.

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Wave bye-bye to the sex traffickers! (Photo from BabyCenter)

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67 Responses to “My Toddler Was Almost Sex-Trafficked from the Grocery with Me Standing There.” Oh Really?

  1. Echo March 17, 2017 at 12:16 am #

    i think back to when my 2 were little and all the times people would say, “how cute” or “do you want to come home with me”?
    did i ever think for one moment that they were gonna snatch one of my kids out of my arms and run? no……
    this story is an example how how freaked out and paranoid people have become with all the media sensationalism!

  2. Sydney March 17, 2017 at 12:57 am #

    When I read these “my baby was almost kidnapped……I think” stories in mom groups the “suspicious” men are NEVER white, and always speak with an accent. The Others play a big part in this hysteria. My corner of the world is very caucasian.

  3. hineata March 17, 2017 at 2:41 am #

    This is so rude, and that woman has a horrible attitude. As I have noted before, my kids were always being picked up by strangers, grabbed by strangers and photographed by and with strangers when we were traveling, and even by Asian elderly people at home in NZ. The only time I remember having any trouble was with my husband, who one time was concerned that the Malay woman picking up my oldest was a witch. Still no idea why he thought that, but whatever, I just politely took baby back.

    Can’t remember ever seriously thinking they would be trafficked, and these are Eurasian children, for whom conceivably there MIGHT be a market (though I’m not entirely sure why they wouldn’t just breed their own). White kids are far too much hassle – they would stick out like the proverbial sore thumb in many ‘meat markets’.

  4. James Pollock March 17, 2017 at 3:36 am #

    Apply the common-sense test.

    Does it make sense to sex-traffic a 2-year-old? Keep in mind the point of sex trafficking is to make money. To make money, you need customers. Approximately how many people are there, you imagine, who are willing to pay money to have sex with a 2-year-old? Is the plan to snatch a 2 -year-old now, raised it for another 10 or 15 years, and then trafficked? How does this make sense to anyone?

    Sex traffickers look for teenage girls (and, to a lesser extent, boys) who are lacking in social support systems… alienated from friends and family, probably poor parents (in both senses of the word), often issues of substance abuse, lack of meaningful alternatives, and above all, isolated. Most victims of sex trafficking are in the country illegally. The sad fact is, the sex traffickers are able to find enough throwaway children to victimize, that they don’t need to steal your precious little treasure.

    Sex trafficking is a horrible problem. But… it is what it is, and it isn’t what it isn’t.

  5. CM March 17, 2017 at 4:48 am #

    Does anyone notice that at the heart of what she is saying is narcissism. My child is so beautiful that someone wants her. My quick thinking skills saved my daughter. I’m a hero for saving her life.

  6. BL March 17, 2017 at 4:55 am #

    “He faced the opposite direction, but was looking over his shoulder at me; glaring would be an understatement”

    Gee, I wonder why he would do that?

    “I loudly conversed with the cashier about their security staff and the odd couple that seemed predatory.”

    Oh, yeah, that’s why. You’re loudly calling him a predator in public, based on essentially no evidence at all.

  7. Gail Colletta March 17, 2017 at 6:51 am #

    Thank you Lenore and David for shedding a bit of fact and reason. People are all too quick to assume the worst. Crying wolf helps no one and prevents nothing.

  8. Dolly March 17, 2017 at 7:30 am #

    this is a viral urban legend type post that circulates around. Seen it before. Its obviously fake as that is not how they snatch kids. Not with that many other people around.

    Child sex rings do unfortunately exist though. Always have. When my parents took me to Mexico as a pretty blonde haired child-the border patrol warned my parents about it and my parents always had to carry my birth certificate and ID with them and were often asked to “Prove” I was their child. They would also ask me “Are these your parents?”

    But its not something lurking around every corner. You can live a normal life and be fine. But it does exist. You can certainly take your kid safely to the grocery store.

  9. Dolly March 17, 2017 at 7:32 am #

    James-its not just teenagers. I was about 9 when we went to Mexico and the border patrol and immigration were very concerned to make sure I was not being abducted and stuff. There is unfortunately a market for that age kids at least. Like age 3 to 10.

  10. Donna March 17, 2017 at 7:53 am #

    This is most likely fake. If real, my guess is that it is a cultural issue, not a sex trafficking. Sex traffickers are not looking for toddlers. The market for toddler sex is extremely small and they are looking for sex workers who can make money today, not making long-term investments in raising children until they reach marketable age.

  11. BL March 17, 2017 at 8:09 am #

    @Donna
    “This is most likely fake.”

    Or at least mostly fake. According to snopes, in-store video of the “incident” shows it lasting “about two seconds”.

    http://www.snopes.com/amanda-in-longview-trafficking-claim/

  12. Donna March 17, 2017 at 8:10 am #

    “I was about 9 when we went to Mexico and the border patrol and immigration were very concerned to make sure I was not being abducted and stuff.”

    The fact that border control is concerned about something does not actually make it a valid concern any more than the fact that a police officer is concerned about children walking a block to school alone make that a real threat.

    3-10 year old kids are not being trafficked internationally in any amount that would require border control’s heightened concern. In fact, international sex trafficking from the US is pretty limited for any age. In reality, border control is far more concerned about custodial abduction than stranger abduction and even that is a rarity absent the abducting parent having some connection to the foreign country.

    Underage sex trafficking is largely comprised of tweens and teens who have voluntarily left their home – most before they met the sex trafficker, but some are lured into leaving by the sex trafficker. Almost all have serious issues in life and a poor social network. Foster children make up the largest single group of trafficked children.

  13. Jessica March 17, 2017 at 8:17 am #

    Sydney

    Absolutely. There is a huge racial undertone to all this.

  14. Coasterfreak March 17, 2017 at 9:12 am #

    My wife was abducted from a convenience store, by a stranger, when she was, I think, around 4 years old (so, around 1975). This was in El Paso, TX, and she was there with a group of kids. A woman came up to her and told her her mother had asked her to pick her up and she just went with her. The other kids went home and when my wife’s mother asked where she was, they told her. She naturally notified the police and they quickly found her. The woman who took her ran off and I don’t know if she was ever caught. They were headed toward the border. Maybe another 10 minutes and they would have been in Mexico. Not sure what the motive was, but I’m told that sex trafficking of young children was an issue in El Paso at the time.

    This ACTUALLY HAPPENED to my wife, and even she was not so paranoid as to think that any random stranger would want to just walk off with our kids when they were young. Especially not from a busy store in the middle of the day, even though that’s exactly what happened to her.

  15. Derek W Logue of OnceFallen.com March 17, 2017 at 9:30 am #

    I don’t know if this woman could be in a Liam Neeson movie, I was thinking more Leslie Nielsen.

  16. Laura March 17, 2017 at 9:31 am #

    It’s curious that she mentioned a “cultural barrier”. It makes me consider the fact that in many places outside of the US personal space and personal questions are very different than in the US. I’ve been to 26 countries and have see a lot of unusual to me things along with living in Silicon Valley in California where there is a huge immigrant population.

  17. BL March 17, 2017 at 9:31 am #

    @Coasterfreak
    Lenore has always said this:

    “Teach your children they can talk to strangers, they just cannot go off with strangers. ”

    And I don’t recall anyone here ever challenging the second part as paranoid.

  18. Claudia March 17, 2017 at 10:05 am #

    As soon as I saw the words ‘cultural barrier’ it was ‘uhuh, that’s what this is about’. Followed by confirmation bias (she said ‘goodbye!’, there was a man over there who was probably watching! the woman wasn’t even really buying anything!)… sigh.

  19. lollipoplover March 17, 2017 at 10:06 am #

    “I’m thankful to Jesus that He alone protected us! I was able to get out and home safely with my family.”

    “Please SHARE this with your friends to raise awareness about this critical issue that is happening right under our noses. Together, we can END IT.”

    Tip: Any time you’re encouraged to SHARE a story on social media, take a long sip at the common sense fountain to ponder what you are spreading….fear.
    Jesus didn’t protect you from your paranoid thoughts and assumptions about strangers with different skin colors, that was all on you, Amanda.

    I am saddened and sick of these “raise awareness” of fictitious crimes that exist only in the mind of this mother. Be aware of are the ramifications of making our children so fearful of strangers and the crippling anxiety so many kids have now as a result of being raised immersed in fear and delusions of grandeur.

  20. Puzzled March 17, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Was the child carrying one of those toys that magically cause them to be sex trafficked?

  21. Buffy March 17, 2017 at 11:12 am #

    If Jesus alone protected this family, why the heck didn’t He just arrange for this incident to have never happened?

  22. SKL March 17, 2017 at 11:36 am #

    Yeah, that guy “looking at her over his shoulder” was probably thinking DOO WEE OOH is she safe with that baby??

    I smell racism / xenophobia here. What did she mean by “cultural barrier”? Obviously she profiled those people. She needs to be psychologically evaluated, but before that, she needs to be slammed on the internet for being politically incorrect, so she can experience how it feels to be accused of something you didn’t even mean to do.

  23. SKL March 17, 2017 at 11:41 am #

    I vote racial profiling. People should get on the internet and slam the hell out of her so she knows what it feels like to be accused in front of the whole world of being a creep.

  24. SKL March 17, 2017 at 11:41 am #

    Oops, I thought my first post got lost … oh well…..

  25. Anna March 17, 2017 at 11:50 am #

    I’m glad I read this, since it made me realize what a narrow escape I have every time I go grocery shopping: there’s almost always somebody near me in the checkout line with one or two low-value items. I always assumed it was people buying something to eat for lunch, but now I know better.

  26. Dean March 17, 2017 at 12:22 pm #

    This seems to be an American hysteria, to the point that this male seasoned citzien avoids even smiling at a child in a public place (“Come Johnny, that man waved at you.).”
    So far, in other countries, it is still okay to acknowledge a child with a smile or wave. In México, recently, I waved at a smiling baby as his/her mother passed me. Mamá lifted the hand of the pre-toddler and said, “Saluda el señor (greet that man),” obviously unconcerned about the possibility I might be dangerous is some way.

  27. Coasterfreak March 17, 2017 at 12:25 pm #

    @BL — Yeah, obviously my wife’s mother came up a little short in the “talk to strangers, but don’t go off with them” lesson department if at 4 years old she didn’t know better. Haha.

    But then again, we hammered that message into our kids’ heads starting at a very early age and I STILL caught our middle son, at age 5 or 6, headed out of Barnes & Noble with an older lady after we left him and his older sister in the kids section to read while we shopped. After a brief, but heated, confrontation with the busybody (who claimed she was simply taking an obviously abandoned child to the front desk), we got both kids together and read them the riot act for not following directions. And they lost their privilege of not having to be with us while we looked at boring adult things in stores for a month. Never had another problem after that.

  28. RebelMama March 17, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

    This woman would have a conniption fit if she could’ve heard me when my kids were babies, toddlers and generally at the adorable stage of life. Whenever some kind stranger would begin to dote on my (blonde haired, blue eyed) girls I’d tell them they could them for the next couple hours. I’d even throw in a ‘take one, get one free’ offer. Alas, I never had a taker. I always jokingly said any abductor would bring them back by then end of the day pulling their hair out. ,)

  29. Susan March 17, 2017 at 1:12 pm #

    People are paranoid in the US. I was in a Target store last week (in an upscale area of Los Angeles.) Picture this: Mom in her 50’s in a Nike track suit comments on a “cool stroller” to the woman who is in her grocery isle. Response from Mom with the cool stroller: she looks at me in horror (I must be a kidnapper) & immediately makes a u-turn out of the isle. I ran across this same woman 2 other times in the next 20 minutes. Each time she saw me, she u-turned and ran the other way. I’m sure she posted a story on facebook on how she escaped a horrible kidnapping attempt. (I never even got close enough to the stroller to see if she had a boy or girl.)

  30. red March 17, 2017 at 1:25 pm #

    In the US, a bold snatching with that many people around would likely result in: (a) immediate reaction from store security and other customers, (b) an immediate Amber Alert if they managed to get out of the store and away, (c) national news coverage.

    No sex trafficker is that stupid.

  31. JulieH March 17, 2017 at 1:30 pm #

    There used to be a Chinese buffet in our smallish city. The workers LOVED babies. They always wanted to pick them up and carry them around the restaurant. It was to the point that it made the predominantly Caucasian customers a little uncomfortable. In my extended family, we could see that it was just a cultural difference – not that they were trying to steal our kids or swoop them off to the restroom or kitchen to abuse them. So even though it felt awkward, as long as the kids were happy, we let the hosts pick them up and carry them around.

  32. elizabeth March 17, 2017 at 2:25 pm #

    One of my issues is that i tend to be too forward when speaking, to the point that i come across as odd or even creepy without intending to. I dont do it on purpose. I just dont have a metaphorical filter on my mouth (not through any fault of my own). Most people just take it in stride tho because they can see my clearly visible nervousness (i have social anxiety). So society has the problem, not the ‘creep” (usually).

  33. Anna March 17, 2017 at 2:28 pm #

    @Coasterfreak: “But then again, we hammered that message into our kids’ heads starting at a very early age and I STILL caught our middle son, at age 5 or 6, headed out of Barnes & Noble with an older lady after we left him and his older sister in the kids section to read while we shopped.”

    I think however well you’ve instructed a child about that, children are so programmed to obey adults, that if the lady acted authoritative enough, the kids were almost certain to do as she said.

  34. elizabeth March 17, 2017 at 2:28 pm #

    Yesterday, i tried to give a sticker to a kid at work. Most kids take the sticker and give a big smile. Had one boy flip out and burst into tears. Red flag in my head. That boy either was raised to be paranoid, or hes autistic, or something bad happened to him. All three are equally likely. It was super weird.

  35. NY Mom March 17, 2017 at 2:56 pm #

    These folks have too much time on their hands.
    Mom might function better if she had a job.
    Psychotherapy might help, too.
    If her culture is opposed, she might improve with pastoral counseling.
    My heart goes out to her.

  36. Puzzled March 17, 2017 at 3:05 pm #

    I think however well you’ve instructed a child about that, children are so programmed to obey adults, that if the lady acted authoritative enough, the kids were almost certain to do as she said.

    Not just children. See Stanley Milgram.

  37. Christopher Byrne March 17, 2017 at 3:07 pm #

    I’ve spent Thanksgiving in Longview for the past four years. Don’t ask.
    This is a place where a complete stranger will ask you at a cocktail party, “Have you been saved by Jesus?”
    It is also Louie Gohmert’s Congressional district.
    It is where “Hands on a Hardbody” was filmed.

    More importantly, this is endemic of the kind of attention-seeking that is all too common in our culture. The aggrieved parent wants to join some morning news show by satellite and be clucked over as a poor victim, or some such.

    What’s appalling in this is the addiction to drama that seems to pervade all this type of thing right now. Must mean we live in a country that is too safe. We have to manufacture threats to get our adrenaline pumping.

    But, as I said, it is Louie Gohmert’s district. He has levels of crazy that are mind-boggling.

  38. Rivka333 March 17, 2017 at 3:16 pm #

    “I confidently matched his stare.”

    So…if HE stares it’s because he’s a predatory kidnapper, but if YOU stare, it’s because you’re a good courageous mother.

  39. Anna March 17, 2017 at 4:00 pm #

    Once, when I was eating lunch in a restaurant with my mother in law, the server offered to HOLD MY BABY and then TOOK HIM INTO THE KITCHEN to show him off to the other staff.

    I ate my meal without having to worry about my baby, and then they brought him back and we left. Oh, and I’m white and the restaurant was Indian. I look back fondly on it as a moment of “it takes a village” in the global sense. I also find a lot of Filipino restaurant workers here (in Canada) to be fond of my kids. I think they miss having a local extended family.

    People need to chill.

  40. SKL March 17, 2017 at 4:04 pm #

    I was thinking, this mom just wanted attention on the internet.

    Then I thought, if she really wanted attention on the internet, she should have told people she left her baby alone somewhere for 2 minutes.

  41. SKL March 17, 2017 at 4:06 pm #

    I did have a foreign lady once ask if she could touch my tots’ hair. It was such a weird request, she touched reached for the hair before I had a chance to respond. My kid’s disapproving glare told her all she needed to know, LOL.

    Kid still does NOT like being touched on the head. By anybody, except me. No, I didn’t teach her that.

  42. Resident Iconoclast March 17, 2017 at 4:27 pm #

    I agree with this comment: “When I read these “my baby was almost kidnapped……I think” stories in mom groups the “suspicious” men are NEVER white, and always speak with an accent. The Others play a big part in this hysteria. My corner of the world is very caucasian.”

    If you ever have occasion to be around one of those nut-case women who sees the Hall of Sex Predators after her children….RUN. Especially if you are male. I’m personally acquainted with people who nearly were ruined by fantasies like this. The “victims’ advocates” and prosecutors are literally dying for mental cases like her to show up, and if you are the subject of their fantasy, the burden of proof will shift to you. Are you prepared to prove that your mind is clear of evil intent? Do you think they’ll believe you, just because you’re sane, and they aren’t?

    The best course of action for adults in this culture, especially men, is to never talk to others’ children, under any circumstances, ever. Hillary Clinton wrote that “it takes a village” to raise children. She forgot to exclude men from that title. She should have. And when the Child Abuse Industry runs out of men to screw over, budgetary imperatives leave no alternative, but to come for the women, then. So if you’re female, you should have grave reservations about talking to others’ children, too.

  43. Call me Al March 17, 2017 at 5:48 pm #

    “Say bye to mommy”—what an unusual comment to provoke a child to say.

    Yes, perhaps, but even more unusual (or at least, bizarre) that someone who is intent on kidnapping a child would say it 1; loud enough so that “mommy” can hear, and 2; say it at all!

    I don’t think that even in such a hopelessly inept kidnapping scenario the kidnappers would make their intentions quite so transparent. I’m fairly certain I recall my sister-in-law making a similar comment when she grabbed my infant son from me the moment she saw him – only to be rewarded by him being sick all over her posh dress.

    Saying all that; one (and I guess I had better include myself after the previous paragraphs) oughtn’t belittle a parent who is distressed in such circumstances. It is a shame that Amanda appears not to have any reliable, well grounded friends in Longview that might have been able to convince her that, although “odd”, the couple in question were no threat. If she had, they might have also pointed out that trying to alert the whole nation to this one-off incident might be comparable to Orson Welles’ broadcasting of “War of the Worlds” – and could conceivably be misconstrued as “attention seeking”.

  44. A Dad March 17, 2017 at 7:00 pm #

    @red – In the US, a bold snatching with that many people around would likely result in: (a) immediate reaction from store security and other customers, (b) an immediate Amber Alert if they managed to get out of the store and away, (c) national news coverage.

    In Texas, the reaction is more likely someone will get shot.

  45. Chip March 17, 2017 at 7:13 pm #

    What strikes me about this story is how incompetent the child-traffickers are! I mean, stealing a child in broad daylight, in a place with multiple witnesses, and security cameras? How did they even graduate Child Sex Traffickers University! They’re really lowering the bar.

  46. Yocheved March 17, 2017 at 7:14 pm #

    “Strangers on a Train”

    On the train in Israel once, I was sitting near the restrooms. A man with a toddler girl and young boy came up to me. They didn’t speak any English, but he indicated that he needed to take his son to the bathroom, and set the little girl in my lap! We happily played for a few minutes, and the man came back with his son, to retrieve his adorable daughter.

    Moral of the story? Nothing bad happened!

  47. John B. March 17, 2017 at 8:27 pm #

    Goodness, so now if I comment to a parent on how cute their child is, all of a sudden I’m a sex trafficker?

  48. CrazyCatLady March 18, 2017 at 12:37 am #

    I have a friend with a daughter, only child, who is the same age as my son, 12. I regularly take my homeschooled son to the park to play with friends. Usually, I am inside the community center, talking to the other parents. This week, we were outside, as it was nice. But this mom would not stay with the moms. She had to follow her daughter.

    I had to leave early, and drove over to pick up my son where he was at as it was faster than arguing with him. The mom asked me if I had seen the gold color car that another mom said was following the kids around and might be trying to kidnap them. Ummm….no. No one wants our stinky kids who refuse to bathe and roam in a pack of about 15, who would stand up for their friends and fight them off with those PVC pipes covered with pool noodles and duck tape. And nerf guns. I have been going to this for years, and no one has been abducted. Male or female.

    I hope that someday, she will lighten up a little and come talk with us mothers. We usually can see…we don’t need to be 15 feet away anymore. She is a nice lady. Her kid is nice. She just needs a little room away from mom and dad. Maybe I will suggest karate to the mom….the instructor at the school does some awesome self defense moves for the kids. How to break out of someone grabbing your arm and stuff like that.

  49. SKL March 18, 2017 at 1:52 pm #

    Roughly 30 years ago, a friend of mine (male) was on a long flight when a little boy came up to him and said, “Uncle, will you take me to the toilet? My daddy is asleep.” So he took the little boy to the toilet. Nice guy, right?

    CAN YOU JUST IMAGINE doing that today??

  50. Shy Anne March 18, 2017 at 2:38 pm #

    Yeaaaah, no, this woman is celebrating her kids wanting to kill Muslims on her FB timeline. Bzzzt! Thank you for playing, Amanda. Here’s your lovely parting gift.

  51. The other Mandy March 18, 2017 at 9:03 pm #

    So the lady who held my baby for me as I dealt with a pee-soaked (“Mommy, I don’t wear diapers, I’m potty-trained!) 2 year old in the chick fil a restroom was trying to steal my baby? And the older couple this morning at Whole Foods who was making googly eyes wanted to steal him too? I’m so lucky he hasn’t been sex trafficked yet, since several random people have held him when I had my hands full. I guess instead of saying thanks, I should have screamed and pulled out the pepper spray.

  52. Babs March 19, 2017 at 12:37 am #

    “He faced the opposite direction, but was looking over his shoulder at me; glaring would be an understatement.”

    Worst criminal ever?

  53. Puzzled March 19, 2017 at 1:48 am #

    In addition to general craziness, it appears this woman sells movies about sex trafficking. I’m sure that’s just a coincidence, though. Thankfully, when she left the store, there were no shirts on her car. When she got home, hopefully, there was no hook stuck to her car door, and no scratches on top of the car. Meanwhile, the calls were not coming from inside the house, and they did, in fact, own a clown statue.

  54. donald March 19, 2017 at 3:34 am #

    This is sickening! I’m sorry but I won’t hold back on this one. This strikes a nerve with me that’s too deep for me to ‘soften the story’. When I read stuff like this, I imagine parents patting themselves on the back for installing their ‘gift of fear’ onto the child. Some fear is good but this is way, Way, WAY, over the top.

    I have seen too much anxiety/depression and the torture that comes from this mental state to agree that this is a good ‘gift’. I see it more of, “I just gave my child a case of hepatitis! Doesn’t this make me a wonderful parent”? I don’t consider that encouraging your child into paranoid schizophrenia to be good parenting.

  55. donald March 19, 2017 at 3:44 am #

    If you were a chain smoker and smoked 30 packs a day in the house and were sharing your 2nd hand smoke with your children for several years, this would be considered as child abuse. However, it’s ok to share 2nd hand craziness with your kids!

    I’m sorry but the damage that she’s doing to her child far outweighs my compassion and understanding for her to raise her child as she sees fit.

  56. Steve N March 19, 2017 at 8:52 am #

    When I was in my late 20’s I was standing in New York City’s Penn Station waiting for a train. You have to wait up in the main waiting area until they post the track number for your train, then there’s a big rush down the stairs and to the tracks and train.

    The track number was finally posted and I headed down, only to be stopped by a youngish mom with two small kids. She asked me to help get her kids down the stairs, and asked if I’d carry one for her. Sure, glad to help I said. That mom knew that even in the middle of New York City you can trust people to help with your kids. Not everybody’s a sick monster.

  57. donald March 19, 2017 at 4:56 pm #

    Sorry
    That came out wrong. I didn’t mean to say that a 30 pack a day smoker that smokes in the house is a child abuser. I’m only comparing that 2nd hand craziness is similar to 2nd hand smoke. I consider that the 2nd hand craziness in this post to a be thousand times worse!

    This is a sore spot with me. I know about the torture of depression/anxiety and am dumbfounded when helicopter parents focus so intensely on ‘what if’ that they act as if this is the only possible danger that can be encountered!

  58. Erin March 19, 2017 at 5:25 pm #

    Oh for the love of God, my own MOTHER shared this ridiculous post on FB. Aaagh!!!! So glad I can come here and get facts!!!

  59. bmommyx2 March 19, 2017 at 7:36 pm #

    Personally I probably wouldn’t pay this story much mind, but in the last year there have been similar stories posted in local moms groups. They have been first hand accounts at local stores with photos of the person or car. It’s much more believable when it’s from a group of local & familiar moms & happens at a near by location. Not sure if they are true or just over paranoid mom’s. Usually it’s a Hispanic woman or young boy ogling the child, with a man in the shadows or in a car. Some mom’s have posted about people trying to reach in to their car & grabbing a child or being blocked in by the car. It is hard to believe, the only thing I can do is pay attention. All of these incidents have been at Target, sometimes they see the people following in the store before hand

  60. John B. March 19, 2017 at 7:52 pm #

    Comedian Bill Burr sums up this subject pretty well. His comedy routine is a bit crude but pretty spot-on!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zc–FjGgAig

  61. James Pollock March 19, 2017 at 8:08 pm #

    ” All of these incidents have been at Target”

    A certain segment of the population (they know who they are) all got mad at Target a while back because Target flatly refused to implement “potty purity” anti-transgender rules in their stores.

  62. lollipoplover March 20, 2017 at 8:46 am #

    @James Pollock-

    Target seems to be a *target* for many idiot criminals:

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/florida-man-arrested-plotting-bomb-target-stores-companys/story?id=45553743

    Honestly, I try to shop local stores most of the time…but have a serious problem ($100+ every visit) with Target and love that damn place. Why people have issues with their bathrooms when you can grocery shop and get new fluffy pillows with adorable throws at the same time, I have no idea. Maybe the world needs more ugly Christmas dog sweaters (only $10 at Target!)?

  63. DB March 20, 2017 at 1:26 pm #

    “Amanda” probably doesn’t even exist. Whoever started this almost certainly made it up. They created an urban legend, and now they’re laughing at all the idiots who keep sharing it.

  64. DB March 20, 2017 at 1:31 pm #

    These urban legends are becoming more and more common because it’s just too easy for idiots to share them on Facebook and other forms of social media. Sometimes it’s even dopes at the local police who share these fake stories. The most recent one I heard was a “warning” about finding a $100 under your windshield wiper in the mall parking lot. Supposedly when you try to retrieve it, you’ll be jumped by a carjacker. This warning was actually posted by a local police force on their own Facebook page, despite the fact that there wasn’t a single documented case of it actually happening. People who are even skeptical often share these things, justifying it under the old, “hey, better safe than sorry” nonsense.

    No. You’re not being safe, you’re just spreading urban legends. STOP DOING THAT.

  65. Puzzled March 20, 2017 at 7:35 pm #

    I went to Amanda’s FB page, explored her hobbies, read posts going back several years on other topics – I think she exists. I also think she’s nuts.

  66. David March 20, 2017 at 9:51 pm #

    Eh, the ‘say bye to mommy’ isn’t that nefarious to me. I’ve said it to my friends kids when I pretended to take them with me. It’s either a joke to the mother or a way to playfully scare the kid. I realize this was a stranger, but I’ve heard strangers make the joke too.

  67. Joshua Crosby March 22, 2017 at 1:43 pm #

    I don’t think Amanda was sensationalist and alarmist enough. Why did she think they were sex traffickers? Those horrible perverts probably were Satanists looking for a child to sacrifice. I mean, it has to be one or the other, right? After all, what kind of bizarre individual would just innocently think a little girl was cute?