CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Kids of any age are targets of bad guys just looking for their opportunity to get inside your home, or simply snatch your child from your own backyard.
Over the years, FOX19's Tricia Macke has covered these stories arm in arm with the Fort Thomas Police Department to see how far a cop, posing as a stranger, could go with kids.
Nearly 14 years ago, Jimmy watched as his kids let a 'stranger' into his home. In about 15 seconds, the cop, posing as a stranger holding balloons, was inside his home.
Mom was in the basement and never saw a thing.
Same kids, but different situation six years later, with Grant and Dominic now 12 and 10-years-old. A cop, posing as a stranger got a group of boys with Dominic to walk into the woods, and another group of boys with Grant to get into a vehicle.
Grant and Dominic were far from the only kids who make the wrong decisions. It happens every minute of every day, and in seconds, your child can be taken.
Brad Adams, a detective with the Fort Thomas Police Department, put on a hidden camera and attempted to get inside the Stein home with their three girls at home alone.
"I think they'll be able to get in. I don't think they stand a chance... A nice guy coming in with a plant," guessed the girls' father, Dave Stein.
His fears were right on. The 'stranger' was able to get inside with the door shut behind him in seconds. He had access to the entire home, and even got the girls to leave but called it off before asking them to get into the car.
So many kidnappings happen by a bad guy luring away a child by mentioning a lost puppy, a broken down car, or in our next case, video games.
Again, Det. Adams posed as a 'stranger' targeting two 8-year-old boys.
One of them was Tricia's own son.
Chatting about video games, both boys get into the 'stranger's' car, one without hesitation and the other with a little more convincing. It happened at a busy intersection in the middle of the afternoon.
The neighbors didn't see a thing, and there was no fight. Just two young boys getting into a car with a man dressed in a suit.
Bottom line: Your child is never too young to be taught lessons.
Tell your kids to not talk to strangers, don't walk away with them and don't let them inside your home. In addition, tell them that a bad guy doesn't always look like a 'bad guy'.
Remind them that no one will ever pick them up from school or practice other than you, grandma or the designated person. If they do, they will have a code word that only you and your child will know.
Lt. Rich Whitford with the Fort Thomas Police Department will be on the FOX19 Morning News Wednesday at 7:50 talking about different scenarios, and what to teach your child to keep them safe.