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Attempted abduction in South Bend, stranger danger situation

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Stranger danger in South Bend. One family says their daughter was almost lured away by a man in the alley behind their house.

"She might have saved herself. She was just here getting the garbage can and a man was there in his car," explains Joanna Dwyer. "She said, it was a small red car and he told her "hey, I lost my dog would you mind helping me find it?"

Dwyer never thought her 9-year-old daughter Camryn would have a real-life stranger danger situation in South Bend. 

"My daughter just let go of the trashcan and took off to the front and ran and got my husband," she adds. "We even talk to them about that, how people say we lost our dog can you help us find our dog...it's such a common technique you see to lure kids."

The Dwyers have plenty of those conversations. Conversations that could be life-changing. 

By the time Dwyer's husband ran out to the alley, the red car was gone.

"She didn't get much of a description of his face, which she felt bad about. I told her that's okay because that means you did the right thing and you took off running," she says. 

She wants other parents to stay aware.

On Clover Street in the River Park neighborhood, there are a lot of kids who all play together. 

Their parents plan ahead on how to protect them from potential predators. 

"The buddy system, stay in groups, never separate, and don't play near alleys," explains Dwyer. "That's a big one and this is exactly why. It's easy to go through an alley and snatch a kid from the yard."

But she says, it's also all about going through scary scenarios with your kids, and making sure they know what to do in any situation.. 

"You see it all the time on the news: kids getting lured and attempted lurings. Child trafficking is massive and scare," adds Dwyer. "It could have ended really badly if we hadn't been so vigilant about talking with them about it."

It's not a conversation they want to have, but it's a conversation that Dwyer feels is crucial.

"It's upsetting and it's disturbing that there are people out there like that, but there are always going to be weirdos and sickos," she says. 

The Dwyers did call South Bend Police to let them know what happened.

ABC57 News also contacted SBPD and was told that there have not been any other reports of similar situations filed in South Bend. 

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