Warning: please keep your eyes on your children

The following has been circulating in parenting groups. Several parents have encountered suspicious activity, including attempted kidnapping at local playgrounds. The ones mentioned in the link are ZHONGCHENG PARK and Tianmu Sports Park in Tianmu. The two people to watch out for are a woman in her 40s, shoulder length hair, carrying a Coach purse, and a man about 30, strong build, hair dyed orange-y. The suspicious vehicle is a white Mitsubishi with spoiler. The posted link is in Chinese. Please, watch your children closely at all times, and please be extra cautious when you are watching more than one.

ptt.cc/bbs/BabyMother/M.1352 … A.940.html

I am based in Xinzhuang, New Taipei City and recent news has it that five kids were kidnapped in the area.

My understanding is all of them were Taiwanese but nonetheless those snatches do happen.

Being a father, I am vigilant every time I am out with them. Having said that, I wouldn’t get paranoid but you know what’s Taiwanese people are like, they enjoy coming up and chatting with everyone, kids included.

So let’s be watchful.

That old chestnut about the evil Taiwanese bogeymen coming to snatch away our handsome, fair-skinned children …

It does the rounds every year, doesn’t it?

The worry I hear is in terms of kidnapping and assumptions that you will have money. That’s actually something to be careful about because there are a lot of people on the edge in Taiwan, along with the usual people desperate to have kids and paedos.

The way I feel is that one can only watch one’s kids for a certain amount of time without becoming overly suspicious to the point of paranoia.
Far better to teach the younglings about what to do if a stranger makes an attempt at abduction. Let them know of that which they should be aware, the possible early warning signs. Loss of innocence, I know, but we live in strange and dangerous times.

Kidnapping is extremely rare, but it does happen. There was a case last month in Malaysia, a British mother had her 20 month old son abducted - he was missing for 18 hours before being found.

Coming from a place where child kidnapping is more commonplace, I have always felt that Taiwan is a paradise in this sense as this is not such a major issue. It is quite rare, which is a unique blessing. Among crimes, this is one most despicable and devastating, even if it is what we call back there “express kidnapping” -less than 24 hours. However, it is still present. I find it hard to believe foreign kids will be especially targeted, as conspicuous, we do have many cases of one parent “absconding” with the kid in case of divorce. Nevertheless, mixed babies I believe would be more coveted, as they are so pretty.

From local website for missing children:

[quote]Since 1992, the year the foundation started keeping records, 1,499 missing minors have been found in Taiwan, but less than 8 percent of cases were assisted by tip-offs from the public.

As of the end of August, 239 minors in Taiwan remain missing since 1992, and 73.6 percent of those have been missing for “a long time,” making them particularly difficult to locate.[/quote]

chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/nati … ercent.htm

So “misplacing” the kids is common, and increasingly dangerous.

The problem with statistics on missing children is that they include children who’ve run away and got lost, either because they’ve wandered off or because their parents have misplaced them, as well as children who have actually been abducted. Hopefully the latter is a very small number in Taiwan. What the statistics don’t include is kidnappings that are resolved without reporting to the police.

We lost our son at the Big Buddha in Hong Kong when he was three. He just ran off and was out of sight within seconds. The problem was that you can’t see more than a few feet ahead because it’s a big circle, and there are loads of entrances to the inner area, so once he was gone it took us more than ten very scary minutes to find him. What was surprising was the attitude of the staff when we asked if they’d seen him. They just said they hadn’t and otherwise didn’t really react. In the end it was other foreigners who helped us find him by telling us they’d seen him just a few seconds before.

In the UK a report of a missing toddler would be taken very seriously indeed, for various reasons I suppose. Parents might try to sue, or it would look bad in the media if a child came to grief at a particular venue, but also perhaps because it feels less safe for children there with constant media reports about paedophilia etc. When I reported my son lost at IKEA when he was two (I did my best honestly but he was a little bugger for running off) there was an immediate announcement over the PA and hoards of IKEA staff appeared from nowhere to search for him. He was found in about five minutes.

Maybe the staff at the Big Buddha were unconcerned because they didn’t think anything harmful was likely to happen, maybe they simply didn’t care or thought we were bad parents for losing him in the first place and didn’t deserve any help. I don’t know. But it was a very different reaction. On the other hand, when my son got bitten by a stray dog here lots of Taiwanese people offered to help. Taiwan feels like a safe, child-friendly society, and I would be surprised if kidnappings were commonplace. When I told a Taiwanese friend my IKEA story she said that the staff wouldn’t take a missing child so seriously here, however.

The video Nuit posted is terrifying. It’s interesting that many people ran over to help but didn’t lend a practical hand in the end. Bystander effect maybe.

I don’t know why the bystanders didn’t just pile on the guy, or why no one tried to open the door and take the child out of the passenger seat.

I read that they had the kid half way out of the car but one of the kidnappers had a machete, so it wasn’t a fair fight.
It was also a taxi driver and civilians who found the kid, not the cops.